MANILA, Philippines - The family of the late King of Action Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ) said they are now willing to accept the rank and title of the Order of National Artist that Malacañang, during ex-president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's administration, conferred in 2006.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News during the launching of the first commemorative stamps honoring FPJ, Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairman Mary Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Poe's daughter, said now is the right time to give the gold medallion award to her father, who is considered to be one of the pillars of the local movie industry and one of the kings of show business.
"Sana, sana. Hindi naman natin masasabi kung kailan gustong gawin ng Pangulo dahil napakaraming ginagawa niya. Pero sana kung may pagkakataon, sana sa panahon ng panunungkulan niya, sana ay matanggap namin dahil napaka-popular niyang presidente. May mandato talaga siya ng bayan," Llamanzares said.
The chairperson cleared she's not pressuring President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, but stressed that it will be a great honor for their family if Aquino will be the one to give them the gold medallion.
"I don't want to pressure the President. This is not pressure through media. I just want to say that it will be an even better honor for us to receive the actual plaque that was voted upon by the artists from a President who's duly elected popularly by the people," she said.
FPJ's family did not accept the gold medallion and citation for their father but according to then Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera, FPJ remains in the official roster of National Artists.
FPJ died in December 2004, months after the controversial presidential elections.
FPJ ran in the 2004 presidential polls but lost to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is now a representative of the 2nd District of Pampanga. With report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News