Sheryl tells Grace to be careful

ACTRESS Sheryl Cruz reminded her cousin Senator Grace Poe to be wary of the people around her as she runs for President, especially those who were also behind the failed 2004 Presidential bid of her father, the late screen idol Fernando Poe Jr.

“Whatever they did to my uncle, I do hope that they won’t do that to my cousin,” Cruz said  Thursday  in an exclusive interview with The Standard.

“For me, you choose your friends. It’s still early on the trail of the whole campaign...we all know that people have their own motives. Mine is that they should not prioritize their interests but [those] of the people,” Cruz said.

Poe announced  Wednesday  night that she would seek the presidency in 2016. Her running mate, Senator Francis Escudero, announced he would run for vice president alongside Poe  on Thursday.

Escudero was among the politicians who helped Poe’s father in the 2004 campaign.

Cruz said not everyone in the clan supported Poe’s presidential bid.

“She’s not yet ready for the task, for the big responsibility,” Cruz said of her cousin.

“I know her because we grew up together. There are some things you cannot rush and you have to wait,” Cruz said.

Cruz, who sometimes stood in for Poe during her senatorial campaign in 2010, acknowledged Poe’s capabilities, but said she believed she needed more years to prove her worth as a public servant.

“Running up against competitors or people who have been there for quite some time, it’s just hard to take on the knowledge they take on. She intends to do well for the country. [But] it’s not a game of chance—you’re dealing with people’s lives and our economy,” Cruz said.

She said what the country needs is expertise.

“My cousin’s a neophyte. Yes, it’s nice to have fresh faces... in our political arena but it’s best to hone what you have,” she added.

Cruz said she would rather entrust the presidency to “more experienced” candidates such as Vice President Jejomar Binay or Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II.

“We would like to entrust the situation to people who can do well, not because I don’t believe in her. Given time I know she’ll be very good at what she’s doing, but just not right now. Probably in 2022? Give herself some more time,” she said.

The actress said that she chose to speak up because of the intrigues already plaguing the showbiz clan, and dismissed persistent rumors that she and Poe were sisters through her mother, Rosemarie Sonora, who now lives in the United States.

“Me and my brother, who lives here in the Philippines, are very much affected [by the rumors]. Manang Grace and I are not sisters. My Mama is not her mother. Please spare my mom from all these lies,” Cruz said.

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