Press Release
February 12, 2016


PANGASINAN -- As the grueling campaign season starts, leading presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe expressed confidence that she is physically fit to become the country's next president.

Poe, the youngest among the five presidential contenders, also backed calls for candidates to present their health records to prove that they are physically capable of handling the stress that comes with occupying the highest post of the land.

While the Commission on Elections has no health-related requirement for candidates for president and vice president, Poe said it was only fair for the people to know if their future leaders have any health issues.

"May karapatan ang ating mga kababayan na malaman ang katotohanan. I am willing to submit a medical certificate from a physician that will reflect that I am physically fit to run for public office," said Poe, who topped recent presidential preference surveys.

She said she had tonsillectomy when she was in grade school, recalling that her first visitors were then teen matinee idols Gabby Concepcion and William Martinez. More recently, Poe said she had a few kidney stones removed.

The senator said she was also open to having voluntary drug tests for all presidential and vice-presidential candidates, especially as she had vowed to declare illegal drugs as national security threat.

"Pero sa tingin ko, ang mas dapat nating tutukan sa mga kandidato ay magboluntaryong magbigay ng drug test sapagkat 'yan ang iligal. 'Yan ang hindi nararapat sa ating batas. At ang drug test na isusumite, dapat ay official."

Poe, 47, said she has no qualms about meeting her demanding schedule in the next three months leading to the May 9 elections. The lone independent presidential bet has been to Cebu, Ilocos Sur and Ilocos Norte in the three days following their campaign kick-off in Plaza Miranda in Manila on February 9.

Poe is in Pangasinan with her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, also the vice-presidential race frontrunner, and some senatorial bets running under the coalition "Partido Galing at Puso." They will meet with local government officials and students in Dagupan, Calasiao and San Carlos cities. Poe's father, late movie icon Fernando Poe Jr. was born in San Carlos City. In 2013, Poe topped the senatorial picks in the province in 2013, receiving more than 805,000 votes in Pangasinan. She went on to set a record for garnering the highest number of votes in Philippine electoral history.

Pangasinan has more than 1.7 million registered voters, making it one of the vote-rich areas in the Philippines.

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