Following opposition from religious groups, Senate President Vicente Sotto III has proposed to his colleagues to rename another street in Quezon City as “FPJ Avenue”.
Sotto said concerns on the renaming of the Del Monte Avenue after the late actor Fernando Poe Jr. are already “water under the bridge” since he already recommended to Senators Lito Lapid and Emmanuel Pacquiao to rename instead the Roosevelt Avenue after the late Fernando Poe Jr.
“I prefer the renaming of Roosevelt Ave. It’s where FPJ grew up because it was their ancestral home. Besides, it’s a larger street,” Sotto said in a text message.
It was Lapid who filed Senate Bill No. 1882 to propose the renaming of the Del Monte Avenue as “FPJ Avenue” in honor of Poe, whose production firm was located on the said thoroughfare.
Pacquiao, meanwhile, chairs the Senate Committee on Public Works, which recently approved the bill for plenary deliberations. “He agreed with my amendment,” Sotto said.
Sotto, who had manifested to be made a co-author the bill, said he will introduce his proposal during the period of amendments.
Earlier, Fr. Cielo Almazan penned an open letter to Lapid about the Franciscan order’s objection to the planned renaming of the Del Monte Avenue, citing the “tremendous historical, religious and cultural significance attached to this name.”
Almazan explained to lawmakers that avenue’s name, San Francisco del Monte, was derived from the secluded place founded on February 17, 1590 by Franciscan missionary Fray Pedro Bautista to honor St. Francis. He also underscored its importance to Quezon City’s religious history.
“There is no doubt that FPJ has done great things to the movie industry. He can be honored via a street renamed after him, but please choose another street, like West Avenue or any other street that is not named after anybody, without any historical or religious significance, or constructed in its present state only after World War II,” he said in his letter.
“There are many streets in our city that are his favorite locations for his movies, or memorable to him or connected with him. As we all know, his family lived along Roosevelt Avenue,” he also raised.
The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines – Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Commission (AMRSP-JPICC), an association of 361 men and women from various religious congregations, also appealed to senators to retain the name of the avenue.