Press Release
March 9, 2016


LUCENA, QUEZON--With a fresh mandate from the Supreme Court, top presidential contender Sen. Grace Poe vowed to put the poor at the center of her "Gobyernong may Puso" and provide the education they need to get themselves out of poverty.

Speaking to an estimated crowd of 10,500 at a campaign rally in Lucena, Poe said the country needed a leader who knew the hardships faced by Filipinos, and not just someone with an impressive education.

"Nararapat na magkaroon na ng lider na papanig sa mas nakararami. Kung may ipapangako ako sa inyo ay ito: uunahin namin ang kapakanan ng mga mahihirap at naaapi sapagkat kayo ang mas nangangailangan ng tulong," Poe said at the Partido Galing at Puso rally at the Quezon Convention Center.

Poe said she would give priority assistance to the agricultural sector, which employs the poorest Filipinos. Under "Gobyernong may Puso," farmers will get free irrigation and financial help especially in the face of severe weather events like the ongoing El Niño.

To their children--and other poor students in the country--the government will provide scholarships that will get the poor through college, whether in state colleges or private schools. This will be done through greater allocation for education in the national budget and the "study now, pay later" scheme.

Contrary to what her critics say, she said the government had enough money to deliver on these promises.

"Ang Pilipinas ay hindi mahirap pero tinatrato nila tayong kulang ang kanilang pera samantalang hindi nga magasta nang tama. Kaya sabi namin, gobyernong may puso ang nararapat," Poe said.

If elected, the senator said she will also invest in health care.

"Pagdating sa kababayang maysakit, pinapabayaan na lang magdusa. Hanggang paracetamol na lang sapagakat kulang ang doktor, kulang ang ospital. Kung kayo ay may cancer, dapat pwede kayo i-chemo(therapy), kung kailangan, dapat pwede kayo mag-dialysis. 'Pag may diabetes, dapat ang maintenance (medicines) regular na naibibigay," she said.

"Lahat naman tayo pareho: 'pag walang gamot, lumalala ang sakit, 'pag walang makain, nangnhihina at nabobobo, 'pag walang trabaho, nalulong sa droga," Poe said. "Mga kababayan, hindi ko kayo papabayaan sapagkat pinalaki ako na 'wag sumuko sa labanang tama."

After months of legal battle, Poe scored a major victory Tuesday when the Supreme Court granted her petition to reverse the Commission on Elections ruling cancelling her Certificate of Candidacy for president in December.

The High Tribunal voted 9-6 in Poe's favor, paving the way for Poe and all foundlings to seek the presidency. This removed all legal obstacles to her candidacy.

"Sa hinahaba-haba ng diskusyon nauwi rin sa isang desisyon: na ako ay may karapatan at ako, tulad ninyong lahat, ay tunay na Pilipino at pwedeng tumakbo sa pagka--pangulo," Poe said.

Poe and her running mate, Sen. Francis Escudero, who also tops the vice-presidential preference surveys, were in Quezon Wednesday, their first provincial stop after the Supreme Court win.

They met supporters in Lopez, visited the public market in Tayabas, held a press briefing in Candelaria, staged a mini-rally in Lucban and ended the day with a political rally in Lucena where they were joined by the senatorial bets under their Partido Galing at Puso.

Poe, the lone independent candidate in the presidential race maintained her lead in the latest Pulse Asia survey done on February 16-27, with 26 percent of voters choosing her as their president.

With the favorable decision from the Supreme Court, Poe's numbers are expected to go up.

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