Six municipalities adopt Poe
SENATOR Grace Poe, who faces disqualification charges over her allegedly questionable Filipino citizenship, on Sunday joked that perhaps nobody would bring charges against her after she was declared an “adopted daughter” in Zamboanga del Sur and Bataan.
“Being adopted by our countrymen from Zamboanga del Sur and Bataan makes me happy,” Poe said.
“Maybe nobody will file a case against me after this.”
Six municipalities in Zamboanga City and Bataan has adopted the neophyte senator, who is perceived to be running for President in 2016, in recognition of her efforts to fight malnutrition among Filipino children.
The municipalities of Dumingag, Tigbao, Bayog, Mahayag and Tukuran, all in Zamboanga del Sur, issued resolutions “declaring Senator Mary Grace Sonora Poe Llamanzares as an adopted daughter for her invaluable contribution to Senate Bill No. 79 concerning the fight against hunger and malnutrition among children.”
Under SB 79, or the Sustansiya sa Batang Pilipino Act, children enrolled in public kindergarten and elementary schools across the country will be given nutritious meals five days a week for 120 days a year for the next five years.
The program, which received a P3.2-billion funding this year, is expected to benefit two million malnourished children. It is the first time a feeding initiative will be carried out extensively.
In July, the municipality of Bagac in Bataan issued a similar resolution recognizing Poe’s efforts to “uplift the health of the people” in the country’s poorest regions.
Malnutrition remains a big challenge in the Philippines. A Unicef report says 3.6 million Filipino children aged 0 to 59 months are underweight while four million are stunted.
Meanwhile, Senator Francis Escudero said Poe’s facing the Senate Electoral Tribunal hearing last Friday to face the questions over her citizenship was a mark of a true leader.
He said Poe’s charges with the SET were baseless and politically motivated.
“If there were doubts about Senator Grace’s qualifications, then they should have been raised when she ran in 2013,” Escudero said.
“That they’re being raised now only reinforces views that she is the strongest candidate in 2016, and the only way to beat her is to get her out of the way.”
Escudero said Poe deserved credit for answering her accusers and the allegations against her instead of being evasive or non-responsive to the issues raised against her.