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Sen. Grace Poe continues to reject proposals for the transfer of the remains of her late father, National Artist Fernando Poe, Jr. or “FPJ,’’ to the Libingan ng mga Bayani (LNMB).
“Kasi national artist, bayani iyan. So sabi ko nga nila doon, pero hindi na. Dito nga masaya tayo, lahat tayo ay puwede pumunta ditto,’’ Poe said during the 12th death anniversary of her late father at the Manila North Cemetery.
Poe’s statement did not mention the current controversy over the decision of the Supreme Court allowing the remains of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos to be interred at the LNMB despite objections of anti-Marcos elements.
FPJ’s widow veteran actress Susan Roces joined Poe along with the senator’s husband Neil, and children Brian, Hanna and Nika and relatives.
“Higit sa lahat, alam niya (FPJ) na dito sa Manila North Cemetery, ang pinakamahihirap nating kababayan ay pwedeng pumunta. Kahit anong oras, pwedeng magpa-picture kahit na diyan sa kaniyang tarpaulin,” Poe said referring to FPJ’s life-size backdrop at his tomb.
Actor John Arcilla, who played the lead role in the biopic “Heneral Luna”, also paid tribute to Da King by singing the late movie icon’s favorite songs “Doon Lang”, “Kamusta Ka?” and “Kahit Konting Pagtingin.”
Poe called on FPJ’s supporters to contribute meaningfully to society, big or small, while exercising vigilance in addressing the country’s current challenges, citing the heroism of Heneral Luna.
The lady senator urged the public to take the time to watch the movie “Heneral Luna”, which tells the story of one of the country’s unforgettable heroes, from whom the youth could learn nationalism.
The occasion was marked by a mass officiated by Fr. Larry Faraon followed by wreath laying and brief ceremonies.
Poe capped her speech by thanking FPJ’s supporters for their undiminished love and loyalty, “Maraming salamat sapagkat sa tingin ko, iilan lamang at mabibilang lang natin sa ating daliri ang mga namayapa na patuloy pa ring pinupuntahan ng ating mga kababayan.”
“Ang pagiging simple, ang pagiging mapagkawanggawa, ang pagiging mapagmahal sa kapwa (ang ipinamalas nya at ating sinusundan),” the senator said.
FPJ, or Ronald Allan Kelley Poe, was born on August 20, 1939, and passed away on December 14, 2004 at the age of 65.