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Why does Poe refuse to take a DNA test with Marcos Jr.?

The only logical explanation is this: Either she has known, or suspects that she is indeed, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos’ daughter with Rosemarie Sonora, the younger sister of her adoptive mother, Susan Roces’ (Jesusa Sonora).

And why wouldn’t she want this kind of a revelation, if true, to be made through a comparison of her DNA with that of Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., even if that could indisputably prove that she is a natural-born Filipina and, therefore, eligible to run for the presidency?

Because her entire narrative, her image that has deluded 29 percent of Filipinos to choose her in voter-preference polls, would collapse, to make her the cellar-dweller in the presidential contest, even behind President Aquino’s clone Manuel Roxas III.

Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares, in an interview with a local TV station for a news program on Friday even made a slip of the tongue to bolster this thesis, which strangely wasn’t reported in print media. She said: “Maybe I’ll agree to a DNA test with Bongbong (Marcos) after the May elections.”

Why would she say that she’d agree to the DNA test only after the elections? Because if she was proven to be Marcos’ daughter at this period, that would have a disastrous effect on her bid to be President, practically as disastrous her disqualification from the econtest.

The image of her as the dictator’s daughter, which could be proven true or false and put to rest by a DNA test, would in Filipinos’ deluded minds, eclipse her image as the daughter of a mythical Panday or the jeepney-driver-who-defended-the-poor played by her adoptive father Fernando Poe, Jr.

DO YOU SEE ANY RESEMBLANCE? From left, clockwise: Rosemarie Sonora, rumored to be Llamanzares’ real mother, in 1968; Sonora in 2008; the Poes and Marcoses in banter in some party; Marcos (with Imelda) as principal sponsors in the Poe wedding in 1968; the presidential candidate and the rumored real father.
DO YOU SEE ANY RESEMBLANCE? From left, clockwise: Rosemarie Sonora, rumored to be Llamanzares’ real mother, in 1968; Sonora in 2008; the Poes and Marcoses in banter in some party; Marcos (with Imelda) as principal sponsors in the Poe wedding in 1968; the presidential candidate and the rumored real father.

And she is rating as a front-runner in presidential voter-preference polls mainly because of this.

This is not a conjecture but based on Mr. Pedro Laylo, Jr.’s recent survey reported in the Manila Standard last week, which I explained in my column last Monday. In that survey, 45 percent of the 29 percent who said they would vote for Llamanzares gave as reasons for their choice the belief that Llamanzares would continue the noble aim of “her father;” that she is kind like “her father;” that she would fulfill the promises of “her father.” “Father” here obviously didn’t really refer to FPJ as a person, but the masses’ mix-up of him with the fictional Panday and other working-class heroes he portrayed in movies for decades.

If a DNA test points to Marcos as her likely father, imagine the blaring headlines: “Marcos, Grace’s father – DNA test.” Do you think the 45 percent who preferred her on the basis of her promises to emulate the good works of her father, FPJ (or Panday), would still choose her?

I don’t think so, and Llamanzares and her strategists obviously don’t think so.

So it is much, much safer for her not to take the DNA test. If Marcos turned out to be her real father, only 16 percent would pick her as their candidate for the presidency, using Laylo’s figures, putting her behind Jejomar Binay with 23 percent, Manuel Roxas 2nd, 22 percent; and even Rodrigo Duterte, 19 percent. (The other reasons Laylo’s respondents reported show how Filipinos are so delusional. They gave reasons such as that she gives “housing to the poor,” scholarships, help to calamity victims and financial help to those in need. But she hasn’t done any of this.)

There are other disastrous consequences for Llamanzares if a DNA test proves Marcos is her father, which obviously convinced her not to take this risk:

Her melodramatic narrative — that she is a foundling abandoned at the steps of a Church (as is the script in so many soap-opera type of Filipino movies) and kept first by poor people to end up with the Poe couple – collapses. She would be instead the daughter of the most powerful man in the country who was playing around, who made arrangements for her to be adopted by her mother’s sister. Hers would not be a story of a poor foundling, but just another instance of the elite’s secret love lives and how they could easily hide their indiscretions, even tampering with birth records. Would she be as attractive to those deluded Filipinos?

Voters would conclude that her adoptive mother – and even Llamanzares herself – had been lying, as Susan Roces would have known the truth, yet has insisted that Grace’s parents were unknown. Voters would even conclude that Grace and her mother were merely taking them for a ride.

Yet even Marcos’ “Solid North” wouldn’t back her candidacy as she had, in effect, denied him whom she would have known as her biological father.

The Marcoses and the Poes at the latter’s wedding reception in 1968.
The Marcoses and the Poes at the latter’s wedding reception in 1968.

Marcos was also known to be close to the Poes, and he and Imelda were even the couple’s principal sponsors at their wedding on Dec. 25, 1968, four months after Grace was born on September 3, 1968. Poe actively campaigned for Marcos in the hotly contested presidential elections of 1969, the only time he got involved in politics until he himself ran for president in 2004.

According to a member of the Marcos’ Cabinet at that time, Rosemarie Sonora was persuaded to hide her lovechild with the President, as its public disclosure would have been so scandalous, with Imelda even raising hell and probably leaving him. In such a situation, Marcos would have lost to rival Sergio Osmena in the November 1969 presidential elections, which allowed him a second term. (And I might add, paved the way for the imposition of martial law in 1972. One gets goose bumps at the thought that a personal decision could have changed the course of Philippine history.)

I’m afraid the sweet-looking lady may be taking us for a ride. She compared her DNA with two persons (with negative results) whom she didn’t identify in November and then with another woman last month – persons who had never before claimed to be her relative.

Yet she refuses to compare her DNA with Marcos, Jr., whose father many of the small Philippine elite, and several of Marcos’ close Cabinet secretaries, believe is her father. What is she doing?

She is both playing the soap opera drama of a poor foundling looking for her true parents, and insulating herself from the very valid criticism why she hadn’t bothered to look for them all these years.

There is somebody who could put to rest in one press statement all the talk that Marcos was her father: the alleged mother Rosemarie Sonora. She lives in the US, but hasn’t said a word, and we’re sure she has heard this controversy raging.

Her silence only bolsters the rumor that she is Grace’s mother. There is a very powerful Filipino belief that a mother can’t ever deny her daughter, or she will go to the deepest recesses of hell.

But if she weren’t, wouldn’t she be shouting out to the world an angry denial that she was Marcos’ mistress? Wouldn’t she be denouncing such malicious rumors that she carried his child and abandoned her because of fear of the risk of incurring Imelda’s wrath?

Less than three months to election, Llamanzares, if she respects the nation she wants to be President of, should take that DNA test with Marcos Jr.