MANILA (Mabuhay) — Acting Minority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Wednesday urged Senator Grace Poe to run as an independent candidate in 2016 to honor the memory of his father, the late Fernando Poe Jr.
“On Fernando Poe Jr.’s birthday, honor his memory by running as an independent and fulfilling his vision to help the poor in this country,” Sotto said in a statement.
The senator described himself as an ardent FPJ supporter who, together with Senator Francis Escudero, backed the presidential bid of Poe in 2004.
Sotto, however, is also a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition that has twice invited Poe and Escudero to at least two political meetings in the same number of weeks.
The minority leader made the remarks a day after Poe and Escudero attended their second NPC gathering despite being independent senators.
“Poe running as an independent would free her from special and political interests and will therefore put her in a better position to fight for the poor— which is what her father would have wanted,” Sotto said.
“I likewise believe that our people would be better served and FPJ’s memory would be better honored if Sen. Grace continues the “Bayan and Bida” vision of FPJ,” he added.
FPJ would have turned 76 on Thursday, August 20.
Poe’s family will be attending a Holy Mass at the Manila North Cemetery Thursday to commemorate the birth anniversary of their patriarch.
A short ceremony will be held after the Mass.
Earlier, the Magdalo group led by Senator Antonio Trillanes IV has expressed support for Poe’s presidential bid.
Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, a member of the opposition, has also said he is more inclined to back Poe in 2016.
The opposition’s presumptive standard-bearer is Vice President Jejomar Binay. (MNS)