Press Release
April 22, 2016


In fighting crime and corruption, independent presidential aspirant Sen. Grace Poe said the government must be careful not to instill fear among its citizens or to threaten hard-won democratic rights.

Speaking before a crowd of 30,000 in Palawan, Poe said that while measures must be done to ensure that people will not be afraid of being victimized by criminals, they should also not be afraid of their government.

"Bakit natin isusuko ang ating kalayaan na mabuhay nang hindi takot? Mga kababayan, ang gobyerno ang dapat matakot sa inyo at hindi kayo ang dapat matakot sa gobyerno. Dapat kami ang mananagot sa inyo, hindi namin kayo dapat binu-bully," Poe said, drawing cheers from supporters in Puerto Princesa City.

The senator, who vowed to address poverty in her campaign against criminality, said violence should not be used to fight violence.

"Ayoko namang basta sabihin 'papatayin ko,' sapagkat kung nagkamali at isang buhay na inosente ang nawala, maghihigantihan tayong lahat. Hindi na 'yan matatapos at nakakatakot 'yan," she said.

"Pero maniwala kayo, 'pag gumawa kayo ng kalokohan sa aking gobyerno, kaibigan man kita o kaaway, ipapakulong kita," said Poe, who has investigated top military and police officials, and even President Bengino Aquino III, as chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs.

In her campaign sorties across the country, Poe, the first foundling to run for president, has often highlighted the strength and compassion of women leaders like her.

As the adoptive daughter of movie icons Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, Poe said she was taught well by two of the kindest and bravest people she knew: FPJ taught her to fight for what is right but never to be arrogant while Roces, though gentle and prayerful, was among the first to condemn the Arroyo administration when FPJ lost in the 2004 presidential elections that was marred by fraud.

"Mga kababayan, wala akong pinagmanahang duwag, kaya huwag kayong matakot na hindi ko kayo kayang protektahan," she said.

Poe made the rounds of Palawan and Negros Occidental Thursday with running mate Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero and the senatorial bets of their Partido Galing at Puso. They were accompanied by "Ang Probinsiyano" star Coco Martin, who has expressed support for Poe's presidential bid.

In her meeting with business leaders in Palawan, and later at her political rally, Poe promised Palaweños that she would address their problem of power and water shortage by tapping cleaner energy sources and building water catchment facilities.

She also said the province, where some of the most beautiful islands in the world are located, should have greater national government support to boost eco-tourism.

"Ang Palawan ay nagbigay sa akin ng mataas na boto noong 2013. Hindi ko kayo kakalimutan at hinihiling ko na sana ay bigyan niyo ng pagkakataon ang isang makatarungan, ang isang mapagmalasakit at ang isang matulungin na lider. Mga kababayan, ako po ay para sa inyo," Poe said.

On Wednesday, Poe was in Cagayan de Oro where she was welcomed by some 60,000 supporters. The independent candidate has been staging back-to-back rallies and drawing some of the biggest crowds in the campaign.

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