ILOILO CITY, Philippines – A 43-year-old woman claiming to be Senator Grace Poe's aunt, as well as the presidential aspirant's supposed "sisters," have expressed willingness to undergo DNA testing to help bolster her claim that she is a natural-born Filipino.
Lorena de Chavez introduced herself to Poe as her aunt when they met after the senator led a Senate hearing on the Aksyon Radyo incident at the Iloilo Provincial Capitol on Thursday, December 10.
De Chavez said she felt “lukso ng dugo” or an instant familial bond with Poe when she first met the senator.
De Chavez claimed that her older sister, Victoria Rodriguez, and Pacito Montañez – both dead – are Poe's biological parents.
De Chavez, a resident of Barangay East Valencia in Buenavista town, Guimaras, also claimed that Poe has two sisters living in Guimaras: Mayin, 40; and Magdalena, 38.
“We are very much willing to undergo DNA testing,” she said.
De Chavez said they had known ever since that Poe was a family member but only decided to surface now because of the senator's citizenship questions.
“Sang sini lang sang gin-question ang iya citizenship, amo to nga daw naluoy na kami sa iya. Ang gina-after namon subong nga mabuligan sia kag makilala n’ya na ang pamilya ya,” she said.
(Now that they're questioning her citizenship, we pity her. What we're after now is to help her and to get to know who her family is.)
Poe instructed her staff to get De Chavez's contact number so she can get in touch with her anytime.
The senator said she was "happy" with the latest development.
"Ako po'y masaya kung sakali totoo. Kung merong basehan, gusto ko ding magpa-DNA test kung sila ay papayag dahil malaking tulong din sana ito (I'm happy, in case it's true. If there is basis, we will seek their consent for a DNA test because this will be a big help)," Poe said.
Poe said she was able to talk to De Chavez for about 5 minutes and told the latter that they seem to have the same forehead. “Napansin ko pareho ang noo namin. Pero maraming naman yatang Ilonggo at mga taga Iloilo na pareho ang noo katulad ko.”
(I noticed that we had the same forehead. But I think there are a lot of Ilonggos who have the same forehead as mine.)
Poe, who faces several disqualification cases because of citizenship and residency issues, reiterated her stand that she has met all the requirements to run for president.
“Para sa amin, naniniwala kami sa kinatatayuan naming legal na basehan ngayon pa lamang. We believe in our legal arguments. It would be nice and might expedite the case if we could prove that I have actually blood relatives here in Iloilo,” she said.
Last month, two people took DNA tests to check if they're genetic matches to Poe, but both tests yielded negative results.
Poe, who was left and found in a church in Iloilo in 1968, was adopted by actors Fernando Poe Jr and Susan Roces. – Rappler.com