Dear Senator Grace Poe, Your father FPJ wasn’t qualified for the presidency anyway

If the Philippines were to hold a Presidential election tomorrow, Senator Grace Poe would win by a landslide. Not only does she have everything the average Filipino voter is looking for in a candidate – a popular last name and connection to showbiz personalities – she also enjoys the privilege of using her late father, Fernando Poe Jr’s death to catapult her to the highest office in the land.

Presidentiable formula: Popular name and showbiz connections
Presidentiable formula: Popular name and showbiz connections
As early as now, Senator Poe is subtly using the “sympathy card” to sway the votes her way. During a recent privilege speech in the Senate, she reminded everyone about how her late father was “cheated” out of the Presidency in 2004. Never mind that her father died December of the same year — about six months after the election was held — and would not have finished his term even if he had won that election.

Now before you accuse me of disrespecting the dead, please note that Senator Poe herself was the one who brought up the subject of her father in the first place. To her credit, she did not pretend to have won a Senate seat because the voters thought she was more than qualified for the job; she matter-of-factly reminded her audience that she “won in the 2013 elections precisely because people remember FPJ”. Amazingly, facts like these are quite acceptable among the majority of Filipinos as input into the decision process they apply when voting. And that’s only because elections in the country are akin more to a popularity contest than to an evaluation of candidates’ competency.

Charm alone will not have been enough to bring the Philippines from Third World to First.
Charm alone will not have been enough to bring the Philippines from Third World to First.
Senator Poe’s tactic is no different to what the late former President Corazon Aquino did when she used the death of her late husband, former Senator Ninoy Aquino to dupe the Filipino people into believing that the country would be better off under the regime of a housewife than a “dictator”. It was too bad many Filipinos believed in the “Cory magic” because aside from her incompetence, allegations of corruption and nepotism also plagued her administration during her term. Some even say that it was really during her term when the state of the nation started spiralling downwards. Well, it was said that it was Cory who introduced the concept of giving pork barrel funds to members of Congress in order to win their favors. Succeeding administrators eventually institutionalized the practice until the pork barrel scam was exposed in 2013.

Going back to using the dead to win sympathy votes, Senator Poe probably learned how effective it is to use a dead parent to gain the people’s trust from Liberal Party mate and incumbent President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino. The latter’s handlers were quick to use the emotional vulnerability of the public after Cory died. They made sure another Aquino name was cemented into the people’s minds before the mourning phase was over. I don’t know what it is about death and elections in the Philippines but I just feel like somebody ought to make a movie out of it already like that famous Hugh Grant movie, Four weddings and a Funeral.

Aside from using a dead relative to gain the public’s trust, politicians like Senator Poe have also learned to use former President Gloria Arroyo to elevate their own status as “honest” public servants. Although, some people could see through what Senator Poe was trying to do when she brought up the subject of the “Hello Garci” tape in her speech especially since the allegation that GMA cheated in the 2004 election was never brought to court and was never proven to be true.

It seems like Senator Poe is still living in a fantasy world where she believes that her father, FPJ would still be alive today had he won the 2004 election. Or maybe Senator Poe actually believes that the Philippines could have achieved First World status by now had her father ruled the country for at least six-months before his death.

Cory Aquino was instrumental to Gloria Arroyo's rise to power.
Cory Aquino was instrumental to Gloria Arroyo’s rise to power.
Judging from her emotional speech, which was mostly dedicated to lambasting GMA, it seems Senator Poe is still bitter about her father’s loss in the 2004 election – 10 years later. That’s five years passed its use-by date since no charges can be filed against election offenses five years after the crime was committed. She obviously cannot move on. She can’t move on probably because there was no closure to the issue. She can thank the likes of President BS Aquino for why the case did not progress. We recall that during a Congress hearing on the alleged election fraud, BS Aquino, then Tarlac representative, was among those who voted against playing the controversial “Garci” tapes. Back then the Aquino family was still allied with the Arroyo administration. BS Aquino should also be accountable for why the truth never came out.

Former allies: President BS Aquino, voted against listening to the 'Hello Garci' tapes during a congressional hearing.
Former allies: President BS Aquino, voted against listening to the ‘Hello Garci’ tapes during a congressional hearing.
Before her recent speech, I had very little opinion of Senator Poe. Now I think she is just plain irrational. Just like BS Aquino, she doesn’t believe in giving individuals the right to due process. She used her speech time in the Senate to grind her axe. She acted as judge and jury while naming and shaming the people who she taught were “guilty” of robbing her father of the Presidency. She even outlined GMA’s supposed “crimes”, which included her alleged involvement in the aborted “NBN-ZTE deal, the fertilizer fund scam mess, the NorthRail project”. Never mind that to date, evidence against those cases are weak and that it is only a matter of time before the charges against the former president get dropped. That time could be when BS Aquino finally steps down from office 2016. It seems the Liberal Party need her detained to show the public he is pursuing corruption.

Senator Poe also comes across as a bit nonsensical when she keeps pining about the “what if”. What if her father won the election? In the words of the late comedian Dolphy, “Madaling tumakbo, paano kung manalo?” How would FPJ, the actor handled a financial crisis? Did he have a background in economics? He didn’t even finish high school. How would FPJ, the actor dealt with the unemployment problem in the country? Did he know anything about attracting foreign and local investors? Would he have used his acting abilities to charm them? I don’t think his anting-anting would have worked. How would FPJ, the actor dealt with natural disasters brought about by super typhoons like Yolanda? Photo ops would not solve anything. Those are just some of the big challenges that FPJ, the actor would have faced had he won the Presidency in 2004.

Her resolve to clean up election fraud during elections with her proposed bill is commendable but Senator Poe needs to get real. She can do this by using her head and accepting the fact that her late father, FPJ the actor, would not have been good as a leader of the country anyway. He would have failed miserably. She should be thankful that he lost the election because he didn’t have to embarrass himself and the country while in office.

Senator Poe did raise a valid point that could haunt even the incumbent President: “May kasabihan sa Pilipinas na walang pulitikong natatalo, nadadaya lang” If she believes that saying is true — that candidates who lose elections were cheated — then the allegation that BS Aquino cheated in the 2010 election is also true.

The Philippines has real problems that cannot be solved by a popular actor who didn’t have anything to offer other than his good looks and “kindness”. I’m sure when Senator Poe is facing the same problems during her own term after she wins in the 2016 Presidential election, she will come to the realization that her father was better off losing and staying off politics. And maybe then she and her supporters can finally have some closure. The only problem with that is, the entire population has to bear another on-the-job trainee for another six years.


Post Author: Ilda

In life, things are not always what they seem.

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221 Comments on "Dear Senator Grace Poe, Your father FPJ wasn’t qualified for the presidency anyway"

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Johnny Derp
Another great article as usual Ms. Ilda although I’m very sure that those who don’t agree with the article(especially malcañang trolls) will show up again. It’s really jarring how a lot of people are still being fooled by this attempt at dragging a decade old issue although Sen. Poe has ironically won due to rampant cheating(60-30-10) in the elections last year. People still don’t realize that they’re being duped yet again by this administration by beating this really really dead horse. If FPJ had won and that 2008 financial crisis happened in his term, I seriously doubt that he can… Read more »
I don’t believe in any politicians anymore I felt like they will promise this and those but yet they never delivered at all. I just don’t trust any of those all they care was their own self but not really for the people of the Philippines. All they care how to take care of their own self, anyway why vote? And why there is still election it’s just a one big bullshit. The only leader who did best for this country was the late President Marcos and my hats off to him no offense but he was a legend a… Read more »

I love this article…

Ilda, Such a disappointing piece you have written here, full of fallacies: 1. FPJ not qualified for the presidency – sure, absolutely 100% agree. However, you miss the point by a mile. The issue is the alleged cheating and its closure to serve justice to the wrongdoers and further strengthen our electoral process to finally prevent cheating; 2. Bitter? – that’s your opinion and I will respect that. However, let me offer mine: she maybe bitter as it was her father who was allegedly cheated but should that be argued here as her reason to bring up the issue in… Read more »
What was the purpose of her privilege speech? I don’t get it why she had to go on rambling about the past. What should be more important is what she can (will) do (or doing) for the Filipino people. Sure, a bill or two against electoral fraud looks good on paper but, for me it looks as if it was conceived by someone in a student government (masabi lang na gumawa). Looking at the video of her reading her speech looks a bit student goverment-ish, and I do not think anybody there was genuinely interested. All these in the… Read more »
Alex A

Is this a demolition job against FPJ and Sen. Poe? The article is so one-sided and seems to undermine FPJ and Sen Poe!


Going back on 2004 election isnt bad for them cause they’re the ones who been cheated by GMA administration. Citizens voted him hoping that he will do better which I didnt agree (I was on elementary when presidential election was in mainstream). If Mrs. Poe using her past for early campaign for the next incoming “election”, I wish goodluck for her.

I am not a Fan of Both Gloria and FPJ. But if he were to win the Presidency with a Clean Slate,he would have still died in 2004 anyway. Having Loren as his successor would have been a bane as would a De Castro Presidency. Perhaps If he were to survive a few more years,there would be some scandals and unavoidable mismanagement of the Economy. By now we would have been under Erap again if he finished his term. To be fair to FPJ,he was thinking putting people like Solita Monsod and Mar Roxas in his cabinet. He didn’t want… Read more »
vince martin alf

Balanced, well-explained, well-analyzed, logical, factual, direct-to-the-point, and intelligent article. As usual great job Ilda. I wish columnist or writer like you will flourish in the Philippines. God bless you and our beloved country.

Javier A. Quintos

I will probably agree that FPJ was not competent to be President. However, that does not justify the blatant cheating perpetrated by Garcillano and GMA. No amount of rationalization will justify fraudulent acts.

victor m. hernandez

Almost anybody can qualify for presidency in the Philippines. The constitution provides minimal qualification standard. FPJ was definitely qualified. Competency may be debatable, which can only be validated by performance. Now, we will never know, that’s the mystery of ‘Panday’.

Noynoy Aquino it seems has provided Grace Poe the template to pole vault over a dead parent’s corpse into an elected position. The guy has been dead over nine years. Noynoy, Nancy and Grace. What do they have in common? Pinoys respond to Inherit instead of earn. The Filipino rarely discerns when it comes to their politicians. That’s why the baduy vote is so important. Capture the baduy vote with bells, whistles, colors, famous dead relatives, vague slogans, corny jingles , artistas. Having seen Noynoy in “action” for 4 years now, I am not sure whether he or FPJ would… Read more »
boy kastner santos

very well said. thank you for writings like this. i really hope this article gets read by our so-called leaders.

Overseas pinoy
The following are just my 2 cents… 1. Didn’t vote for FPJ and GMA. I’ve lost faith in all our politicians. 2. Even the “hero” Marcos couldn’t have prevented the 2008 GLOBAL financial crisis from affecting the country. Remember that the 2008 financial crisis was caused by these so-called economists. So to say that a president with an economic background could have done a better job doesn’t make sense to me. 2. FPJ was qualified to run. The question is could he have been a competent president? We’ll never know. 3. Surveys are not to be believed… not until you… Read more »

From what I observed in the televised senate hearings, I’d say she’s one of the few senators who makes sense, she seemed serious (no lame jokes) and her questions seemed valid. About her speech, Well, she’s disappointed no one is actually indicted for those scandals, what’s wrong with that? I’d actually be happy to have her as president rather than those trapos (Binay, Mar) planning to be candidates.

Jim DiGriz

A little off topic, but going back to that time…. If the opposition would have been smart, they would have supported Lacson. But no, they had to go with FPJ, another airhead actor who would have been easy to control/handle. Lacson would not have been. I say if they would have supported Lacson full blast, GMA would have lost. Maybe we would have another country today. At least Lacson would have instilled some heavy handed discipline, something that is entirely missing in this country today.

Jose F Gamos

Did you say FPJ was unqualified to run? If so, why did the COMELEC allow it. You implied that FPJ was uneducated and unprepared for the job, but who is? The economists in the past and present President who tolerated massive corruption and plunder of public coffers?

celso simbajon

FPJ is unfit for President? then who’s fit? There are 3 ways to win election: 1) vote buying 2) cheating 3) Popularity.
Anyways, what is the difference between a candidate who spend too much just to gain popularity to voters and to one who has been popular for being a celebrity and his good deeds? Maybe for those who take the negative side would say “celebrities are not qualified” while TRAPOS would.


I’m quite surprised up till now how she managed to win, and not only that, how did she became on the top. With no platforms, no vision and no plan, she did it with just a photo of her father.

Off topic, this is really bugging me, have anyone of you saw the ad of Taguig? Similar to “Ganito kami sa Makati”. It’s very annoying…

Carlo P. Gonzaga

To apply for some rank and file positions in the government, qualification ranges from some college education to 4 year education and passed the civil service exams, non-pro or professional but the Constitution allows uneducated candidates to public service and governed? I think the qualifications for elected officials must be raised to at least college level. So unfair for us, government employees who are required with these qualifications while while candidates for elected positions are not.