|SUSAN ROCES and Sen. Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares
ILOILO CITY – Actress Susan Roces finally broke her silence on the persistent rumors that her sister Rosemarie Sonora is the biological mother of the former’s adopted daughter Senator Grace Poe.
In a campaign sortie in Poe’s birthplace in Iloilo, Roces denied that Poe is the love child of Rosemarie Sonora and the late former President Ferdinand Marcos.
”On the rumors that she is the daughter of my sister, why I should deny if it is true?” Roces told the media.
”I was with my sister day and night during that time. I never saw her pregnant. That was 1968, the year I got married. Later she too got married,” Roces said.
”During that time, Rosemarie, my sister, was very busy doing television and she was very visible,” the veteran actress added.
Poe, now 47 years old, was found at the Jaro Church in Iloilo as an infant, but five years later, she was adopted by Roces and her husband, the later famous movie actor Fernando Poe Jr.
The issue of being a foundling has been used by Poe’s detractors to file petitions to disqualify her as presidential candidate in the May elections. Poe is still waiting for SC’s decision.
”I just don’t understand why they have been saying that my daughter is not a Filipino. How she landed here (in Iloilo)?,” Roces said.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) ruled in favor of the petitioners who also claimed that Poe has not met the 10-year residency requirement, prompting her camp to elevate the disqualification case to the Supreme Court (SC).
Poe returned to Iloilo on Tuesday for the third campaign rally of the Partido Galing at Puso (PGP) to be held in front of the Jaro church where she was abandoned 47 years ago.
”It’s symbolic because that is where I was found,” said Poe, a leading presidential candidate based on the Pulse Asia survey.
Poe vowed to return the kindness that was done to her by the people of the province when she was a child.
”My provincemates, I know I’m not good in speaking Ilonggo. I grew up in Manila, that’s true, but I won’t forget that I was found here,” Poe told supporters.
She expressed gratitude to the Militar family of Jaro for taking care of her while she was a toddler and for allowing her to be adopted by movie icons FPJ and Susan Roces, who gave her opportunities in life.
Siblings Junie and Teresa Rodriguez, who hail from Guimaras, had offered to undergo DNA tests, saying Poe could be their sister Victoria’s daughter. The DNA tests turned out negative.
For the first time since Poe officially launched her campaign, Roces accompanied the senator on a provincial sortie, visiting public markets and defending Poe against those who claim she is not a natural-born Filipino because she was a foundling.
As she visited various cities in Iloilo, Poe reiterated that she was a daughter of the province, no matter what her critics say.
”I was born in Jaro. I really came here and I want our countrymen to know that if I will be given a chance, I will not ever forget them,” she said.
Poe said she would prioritize infrastructure projects in Iloilo, such as the Iloilo-Guimaras-Negros Bridge that will boost trade and tourism in the Western Visayas region.
Iloilo City delivered 121,783 votes for Poe in the 2013 senatorial elections, helping her top the senatorial race with more than 20 million votes, the highest ever received by any candidate for a national post