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Oct 31st
Home Sections Politics Similarities and Differences Between Grace Poe and Cory Aquino (Warts and All, Before They Became Presidential Candidates)
Similarities and Differences Between Grace Poe and Cory Aquino (Warts and All, Before They Became Presidential Candidates) PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Written by Bobby M. Reyes   
Sunday, 24 May 2015 00:21

Top Ten Reasons Why "Amazing Grace" May Do Better Than "Sagrado Corazón" -- Assuming Ms. Poe Indeed Runs for President in 2016

By Lolo Bobby M. Reyes of Sorsogon City (PH) and West Covina (CA)

Prior to the 2010 presidential election, there was a Sorsoganon joke that recent Filipino Presidents were "handpicked" by God (or god, lower case) himself, starting with the Snap Election of 1986. The first to be anointed President was Cory ("Sagrado Corazón") Cojuangco-Aquino. Then she was followed by Fidel "Domingo de Ramos" (Palm Sunday) V. Ramos, Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada and Gloria "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" Macapagal-Arroyo. But Mr. Estrada complained that "Erap" was not a Latin or Spanish religious term. He was told, however, that his nickname was part of the phrase "Erap pro nobis." And Erap believed it was so and he was very-happy with it.

Here are the similarities first ...

The first similarity, albeit from the humorous side -- if Senator Grace Poe runs for the presidency in the May 2016 election -- is that like Mrs. Aquino, a religious moniker "Amazing Grace" is as good probably as "Sagrado Corazón," Tita Cory's supposed religious name.

The next similarity is that both Ms. Grace and Ms. Cory were American-educated women after spending time in Catholic and secular schools in the Philippines.

Mrs. Aquino went to St. Scholastica's College while Ms. Poe went to the Assumption School in now-Antipolo City (for her elementary and high school).

Then Mrs. Aquino had a stint at the Far Eastern University while Ms. Poe went initially to college at the University of the Philippines. Then both of them studied in the U.S.A. -- Ms. Cory Cojuangco became a student at the Notre Dame Convent School, New York City (now Notre Dame School (Manhattan) and then at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, New York. On the other hand, Ms. Poe earned her degree at Boston College in Massachusetts.

Their differences . . .

Their respective school experience in the Philippines highlights the 1st difference between Ms. Poe and Ms. Cojuangco, who was a passive, shy and reactive type of an academic leader, to my limited knowledge. While Ms. Poe, who was always in the honor roll, was often a proactive student. Both both of them were modest persons who never boasted their pedigree or family influence or wealth, especially Ms. Grace, who never mentioned the fact that her parents were the Movie King and Queen of the Philippines, respectively. But ... Ms. Grace learned early how to cope up and deal with adversity when some school acquaintances reportedly tried to embarrass her by saying that she was a "mere adopted child" of Fernando Poe, Jr. (FPJ) and Susan Roces.

The 2nd difference was that Mrs. Cojuangco-Aquino was forced to an exile in Boston, Massachusetts, with her husband, Sen. Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. and their family by the then-Marcos Dictatorship. Ms. Poe decided to leave the Philippines with her would-be husband when her parents, FPJ and Susan Roces, objected to her having a boyfriend at such an early age. It was almost a movie-like elopement for Ms. Grace. It was also like a banishment for Ms. Grace and her beloved, Teodoro Daniel Misael "Neil" V. Llamanzares, who became her husband and father of her children.

Both of our lady leaders were also students of cooking, as they had to learn how to cook for their respective family while in the United States. But then Ms. Poe (now Mrs. Llamanzares) became more-than a family cook; she became a "Soccer Mom," after she got her U.S. driving license: she took her growing children to/from school, fast-food restaurants and drove them also to extra-curricular activities. This is where the 3rd difference between the two Filipino woman leaders can be highlighted. To my limited resource, Tita Cory never learned how to drive a motor car in the Philippines and in the United States. "Amazing Grace" became a street-smart driver (at least in Southern California) while Tita Cory was driven around or she hopped on taxis or limousines while in the United States. It takes guts and more guts to pilot a car in Southern California, especially with so many drivers (whether duly-licensed or not) from Third World countries cruising around. Tita Cory never had that experience, when drivers were required to have the talent for split-second decisions needed to navigate the "asphalt jungles" of California and some other states in America.

The 4th difference is the fact that Tita Cory never worked for a livelihood (even at an entry-level position in any public or private American entity) during her stay in the United States --either as a student or as the wife of an exiled Filipino leader in the person of Ninoy Aquino. Perhaps she did not need the money from employment, as she came from a wealthy family. And reports alleged that the U.S. government supported the Aquinos during their exile in Boston.

On the other hand, Grace Poe-Llamanzares worked hard, as did also her husband, as they refused the financial help of FPJ and Susan Roces. According to my friend Ramon Gamara, QUOTE. Grace Poe and her family (were) living a quiet life in Fairfax, Virginia. In 1995, she was hired by the Montessori School of Cedar Lane, a local school where she worked for three years as a preschool teacher. She then served as a procurement liaison with the United States Geological Survey in 1998, where she worked for a year. In 2001, she was hired as a product manager with CSC Scientific, a local company specializing in the production of scientific equipment, where she stayed until 2004." UNQUOTE.

The 5th difference? Prior to her running for President, Mrs. Cory C. Aquino never held, or elected to, any public office in the Philippines. Of course, nearly everybody knows what the Wikipedia has written about Grace Poe-Llamanzares' career in public service: QUOTE. In 2010, she was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III as chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB), where she advocated for a progressive agency that would promote a culture of intelligent media viewership, while at the same time supporting the further development of the country's film and television industries.

In 2012, Poe launched her candidacy for a seat in the Senate, running in the 2013 senatorial election as an independent affiliated with the Team PNoy coalition of President Aquino. Although initially faring poorly at the start of the campaign season, she unexpectedly won a seat in the election with the most votes of any single candidate. UNQUOTE. In fact, Grace Poe was the first ever candidate for a national position to garner more-than 20-million votes in the history of Philippine elections.

The 6th difference? Mrs. Cory C. Aquino hailed from two political dynasties in Tarlac Province, the Cojuangcos and the Aquinos, to which she married into -- with all the political baggage, social warts and all. The "Amazing Grace" does not come from a political dynasty and her husband is apolitical. The presidential run of her dad, FPJ, in 2004 was an aberration, it was his first venture in politics. Ms. Poe-Llamanzares, to my limited knowledge, does not have a relative or an in-law who is holding an elective or appointive high position in the Philippine government.

The 7th difference between Mrs. Cory Aquino and Grace Poe? Tita Cory comes from a family of landlords, as sadly highlighted by the now-infamous Hacienda Luisita, with all its bloody past, including violent clashes with tenants and their sympathizers in the Filipino labor movement. My friend, Ramon Gamara, swears that the only "hacienda" of Grace Poe allegedly consists of several flower pots found in her residence in Metro Manila and in her modest home in Southern California. Therefore, Ms. Poe is not beholden to any fellow landlord or heirs of landlords and has no "feudal" estates to protect should she become the President in 2016.

The 8th difference between President Cory Aquino and would-be-President Poe is equity in "Corporate Filipiniana". The Cojuangcos -- to which Mrs. Aquino was a scion of -- had vast holdings in telecommunications, energy, banking and other industries in The Imperial Manila prior to her presidential candidacy. Ms. Poe has only interest in the film-making company of her late Dad and Mom. Grace Poe is, therefore, not beholden to any tycoon, crony or taipan and to The Imperial Manila itself.

The 9th difference between the two woman leaders is the fact that they belong to different generations. Tita Cory died without seeing the dawn of the "Wireless Revolution" in the Philippines. Grace Poe belongs to the "Information-Technology (IT) Generation." The IT-savvy young Filipino voters demand now accountability, transparency, integrity and credibility (the so-called "ATIC" policies that this writer coined in 2000), which can easily be highlighted online, especially in social media. This was why Senator Poe filed the "Freedom of Information" bill, which unfortunately is languishing in the dustbin of Senate history, as the vested interests refuse apparently to support its passage.

The 10th difference is the fact that when Mrs. Aquino became the President in February 1986, she did not have the freedom to appoint many of her Cabinet members. Her hands were tied, as she had to "appoint" Juan Ponce Enrile as Minister of Defense, Fidel V. Ramos as Chief of Staff of the military, her Vice President Salvador H. Laurel as Minister of Foreign Affairs and others that were thrust into her by The Imperial Manila -- or else ... #%*&@???

On the other hand, Ms. Poe can follow this suggestion: Emulate the "Iron Lady" Margaret Thatcher and other would-be Prime Ministers in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The acknowledged candidate for Prime Minister of the British Opposition Party nominates -- prior to the election -- his (or her) nominees for the incoming Cabinet (if his or her party wins the election). The public then could vet the nominees prior to the casting of the ballots. In this manner, Grace Poe can make history by introducing in the Philippines the British tradition of forming a Cabinet so that every Cabinet member can explain what he or she can do in the First 100 Days of a Poe Administration and how and where to get the funding to do at least ten of the top priority projects of the Department. If this happens, maybe Grace Poe can even become a Filipino version of the "Iron Lady" and still function as the "Lady of the Llamanzares Family."

This writer could cite many other reasons why he believes that Grace Poe-Llamanzares will and can easily outperform then-President Corazon Cojuangco-Aquino. Ms. Grace does not only have more experience than Tita Cory but also she has less political warts and practically no vested interest to protect. Readers can type in the 11th or 12th suggestion up to any number that they want at the Comment Section at the end of this article. People can also post their comments in the Facebook Groups to which a link to this article will be mentioned. Then a newer and more-exhaustive edition can be edited and published in the foreseeable future. God bless us all, including Tita Cory.

(To be continued ...) # # #

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Last Updated on Sunday, 24 May 2015 00:27

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