By Reynard Magtoto
LEGAZPI CITY, 17Sept2015 (BicolToday.com) — “Ako po si Grace Poe. Pilipino. Anak, asawa, at ina, at sa tulong ng Mahal na Diyos ay inaalay ko sa inyong lahat ang aking sarili sa mas mataas na paninilbihan bilang inyong Pangulo,” Poe finally declared her indepedent presidential run at the UP Bahay ng Alumni.
Senator Poe is frontrunner in the presidential and vice presidential preference surveys by both the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia.
Poe introduced Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero to supporters to be her running mate, completing the first presidential and vice presidential tandem in the 2016 national elections.
Poe said that she would be comfortable to run with Escudero. The two have known each other since 2004, when Escudero acted as the spokesperson of Poe’s late father, Fernando Poe Jr., in his presidential bid.
A three-time congressman of Sorsogon who was known for his role in the impeachment case against former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Escudero has accepted the offer of Poe to be her running mate stating he has full confidence in Poe’s qualifications and competence a leader.
Poe’s formal announcement is a welcome development, according to youth groups, especially for those who have been neglected and abused in the last five years under the corrupt and inept haciendero government.
She articulated a platform which focuses on the need for “true reforms” which will benefit the nation especially the poor and vulnerable and promised to “hold the corrupt accountable” be they “friend or foe.”
She added that she is focusing on heeding farmers’ “longing for land to till and pushing for “fair wages and benefits for workers.”
Poe also discussed issues in education, agriculture, infrastructure, taxes, wages, overseas workers, electricity, traffic, crime, peace talks, human rights, health, tourism, arts, sports, and youth.
Anakbayan hopes that Poe’s presidential run means pursuing development in the rural areas through genuine land reform and with a significant wage increase and an end to contractualization.
”It is good that she took on human rights and peace, hopefully, this would also mean, among others, freeing political prisoners and pursuing just and lasting peace through peace negotiations,” said Vencer Crisostomo, Anakbayan national chairperson.
“Sa ating lahat nakasalalay ang magiging kwento ng Pilipinas sa darating na panahon. Sana po ay samhan ninyo ako sa pagpanday ng maganda at makabuluhang hinaharap ng ating inang bayang Pilipinas,” Poe added.
”For the students, we challenge her, more than the promise for scholarships and internships, to stand up against tuition hikes and commercialization of education,” said Crisostomo. [BicolToday.com]