MANILA, Philippines -- The family of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. is finally ready to accept the National Artist Award for its patriarch after initially rejecting the citation six years ago.
|Grace Poe-Llamanzares. File photo
Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Grace Poe Llamanzares said her family is "extremely elated" after President Benigno Aquino III issued Proclamation No. 435, which confirmed an earlier declaration of Poe as National Artist in 2006.
Llamanzares is Poe's daughter with veteran actress Susan Roces.
"With this, my family can finally receive the award at Malacañang. The symbolic significance here is a long awaited tribute to FPJ and for his contemporaries, admirers and supporters," she said.
On Friday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the plan is to hand the National Artist award to Poe's family in a ceremony at the Palace.
In her statement, Llamanzares said Aquino's confirmation of the National Artist Award for Poe serves to "dignify" the 2006 conferment of the same cultural honor under the rule of an "unquestionable" administration.
"This does not overshadow the honor that was given by the awards body, which was composed of esteemed artists, that first bestowed the award on FPJ in 2006; but in fact, further dignifies the National Artist award process, for it to be given by an unquestionable administration, through a President that the Poe family and the Filipino people hold in such high regard," she said.
"We thank once again the Council of Artists and we are grateful to President Aquino," she added.
In 2006, then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo named Poe a National Artist but his family refused to attend the awarding ceremony.
Poe ran against Arroyo in the 2004 presidential elections, the results of which were questioned by the King of Philippine Movies before he passed away. -- with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News