MANILA (UPDATED) - Senatorial candidate Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares is already counting her last days as chairman of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB).
She disclosed today that her term is ending on September 30 and "may no longer be renewed by the President.”
With President Benigno Aquino III’s announcement that she is on top of the list of the administration's Senate slate for 2013, the daughter of the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. is considered resigned once she files her certificate of candidacy on or before the October 5 deadline set by the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
"Talagang ang hirap, lalo na 'pag may pinagsamahan na, at kasundo mo talaga ang mga katrabaho [in MTRCB] mo," Llamanzares said.
Despite her initial reluctance, Llamanzares said she is accepting her fate as a good soldier in the Aquino administration.
Her father, she said, would have also approved of her entry to politics.
"He would be more confident because I've had this opportunity to actually do official public service work. Nobody's a hundred percent deserving of anything, but I think that the intention is really important," Llamanzares said.
"They may say [she was considered] dahil anak 'yan ni FPJ. Talaga naman. 'Yun ang kapital ko, kaya naman 'yung pangalan niya, talagang pinag-iingatan ko," she added.
She plans to continue her father’s advocacy of good governance and poverty alleviation.
The former actor ran for president in 2004, but lost to President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. FPJ's camp insists, until now, that the elections then were fraught with anomalies.
"My mom has to go with me," Llamanzares said of the support of her mother, actress Susan Roces.
"[She will be a] symbolism, because she accompanied my dad. My mom had a lot of misgivings, but she fully understood," she added.
Llamanzares added she would be pushing for more laws for children’s rights and protection, which she bannered as MTRCB chief.
"Ang mga bata ay napakahalaga, dahil din sa pagkakataon na nabigay sa akin ng aking mga magulang," she said.
Meanwhile, she also thanked her father’s best friend, former President Joseph Estrada, for including her as a guest in the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) senatorial slate despite Aquino's announcement.
UNA is the coalition between Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Vice President Jejomar Binay’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban).
Quoting Estrada, Llamanzares said: “’Dahil mahal ko ang ama at inaanak din kita, susuportahan kita. Kahit saan ka tumakbo.' Kaya, syempre sobra ang pasasalamat ko sa kanya."
The 45-year-old Llamanzares was a college scholar of the University of the Philippines. She also earned a major in government and political theory at the Boston College in Massachusetts.
She was also former vice president and treasurer of the FPJ Productions and Film Archive.