Contrary to a report of a national broadsheet on Wednesday morning, actor and National Youth Commission (NYC) Commissioner-at-Large Dingdong Dantes will not be attending Sen. Grace Poe’s “important announcement” in connection with her plans for the May 2016 national elections at the UP Bahay ng Alumni.
Reaching Dantes through his talent management group PPL Entertainment Inc., The Manila Times learned sometime around noon that he will be busy throughout the day with commitments for the NYC as incumbent commissioner-at-large.
Dantes, who was reported to lead a star-studded guest list at Poe’s announcement today along with pregnant wife Marian Rivera, issued the following statement via text:
“I confirm though that I received an invitation yesterday to attend the UP event today. However, due to my current duties as an appointed official of the National Youth Commission, I have several official youth engagements today that are related to our ongoing Climate Change advocacy programs, which I am spearheading.
“Senator Grace Poe is a friend, and I wish that she be guided by our Almighty God in her journey today.”
Dantes’ inclusion in Poe’s list of invitees draws much attention since he has been a prominent supporter of President Benigno Aquino 3rd from the start of his candidacy in 2010 and throughout his ongoing tenure in Malacañang.
Following Dantes’ appointment to head the NYC in 2014 by the President, rumors that he would be running for the Senate in 2016 have persisted until today. But over the past weeks, the actor has categorically stated he will not run for any post in government come May 2016, and that his utmost priority is to fulfill his showbiz commitments in order to free up his time for the arrival of his eldest child, a daughter, due in November.
“Hindi po, I respectfully reiterate that I am not running for any post this 2016,” he had said.
Asked through his handlers to confirm whether he is supporting Sen. Poe’s presidential bid or not, The Manila Times was told they cannot speak for Dantes who by then was already unreachable at his meeting.
A source close to Dantes meanwhile told The Manila Times that even if asked, they doubt he will have a definite answer what several months to go before the official campaign season begins.