Sharon Cuneta endorses Poe's Senate bid, thanks husband Kiko's 'respect'

MANILA, Philippines – The "Megastar" Sharon Cuneta Pangilinan endorsed Senator Grace Poe's reelection bid on Friday night, May 10 – a move that she had wanted to do for the longest time.

Sharon admitted during Poe's miting de avance in Tondo that she had always vouched for the presidential bids of Poe in 2016, and her father Fernando Poe Jr (FPJ) in 2004.

She said she wanted to endorse them but did not do so out of respect for her husband, Senator Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan.

"Dahil nga sa aking respeto sa aking asawa na hindi namin kapareho ang puso pagdating sa pulitika ay hindi ako makakampanya noon (2004) [kay FPJ]. Noong tumakbong pangulo ang ating senadora, wala po akong naendorso na presidentiable noon. Dahil gusto ko sana ikampanya ay walang iba kundi siya (Poe)," Sharon said.

(Because I respect my husband whom I don't share the same political belief, I did not campaign for FPJ. When our senator ran for president, I did not endorse any presidentiable at the time. Because I don't want to campaign for anyone but her.)

The Megastar said she considers Poe as her younger sibling, given her close ties with FPJ. 

She asked the Tondo crowd to help Poe top the Senate race. Currently, Poe is sharing the top spot in the latest preelection surveys with fellow reelectionist senator Cynthia Villar.

"Kaya lang po ako nandito para ipaalala sa inyo na mag-imbita pa rin po kayo ng mga kakilala ninyo na papanalunin pa po ng mas mataas na ranggo si senadora," she said.

(I am only here to remind you to invite other friends to help our senator win a higher rank in the polls.)

Sharon also thanked her husband for "respecting" her even if she has a different political view. 

"Ngayon po matapos ang dalawang dekada, salamat na rin po kay Kiko sa kaniyang pagrespeto sa akin. Sa aking puso ay naninindigan na po ako para sa mahal ko sa buhay, at 'yan po si Senator Grace Poe," Sharon said.

(After two decades, I thank Kiko for his respect for me. In my heart, I stand for the people I love, and that is Senator Grace Poe.)

Pangilinan, the sitting president of the Liberal Party, is also the campaign manager of the opposition slate Otso Diretso. In a previous interview with ABS-CBN, Pangilinan was asked if Sharon would support the opposition slate. He said that "it's up to her."

Sharon, so far, has not endorsed Otso Diretso.

The Megastar earlier said that she had remained "apolitical." In March 2018, the actress had dinner with the President, and Pangilinan said he had no problem with it as the Cuneta patriarch and President Rodrigo Duterte are friends. (READ: Sharon Cuneta thanks Duterte for video message of support– Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey covers the Philippine Senate for Rappler. Before writing about politicians, she covered budget, labor, and transportation issues.

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