Civil society cautious, Cebu officials laud Roxas as DILG chiefBy Jessa Chrisna Marie J. Agua
Cebu Daily News
CIVIL society groups were cautious while Cebu officials welcomed the appointment of Mar Roxas as the new Interior and Local Governments Secretary yesterday.
“I don’t know Secretary Mar’s credentials on local government. But I hope that he will continue to institutionalize participatory, accountable and ethical governance under the rule of law,” said ecology lawyer Gloria Estenzo-Ramos.
Ramos, who heads the Philippines Earth Justice Center, said while they cannot speculate “on a person’s future performance” she hopes that Roxas will adopt the late DILG secretary Jesse Robredo’s belief “in collective wisdom” and engage in public consultations.
She referred to President Benigno Aquino III’s speech in New York on Sept. 21 last year in which he emphasized the qualities of “self-control”, discourse and consensus as present in every leader.
Ramos said the President pointed out that “legitimacy is built on accountability” which in turn delivers results.
“A leader is one who trusts his people to decide for themselves, and allows them to shape their own future,” she said.
Ramos said Robredo became an ally of civil society when he stayed true to that principle.
The Movement for Liveable Cebu said they hope Roxas will have the strength and integrity “to follow the same path.”
Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza cited Secretary Roxas’ lineage of public servants.
“His grandfather was president of our country. His father was a senator. Secretary Roxas was once a number one senator. Running an LGU requires a deep sense of public service,” the mayor said.
Radaza said she believes Roxas “will be able to inspire the chief executives of towns, cities and provinces in the country to advocate good governance.”
In a text message to Cebu Daily News, Cebu Liberal Party (LP) chairman Hilario “Junjun” Davide III said Mar Roxas is an “excellent choice” for the post of Interior and Local Governments Secretary.
“The president needs someone in the DILG he can trust. Secretary Roxas is that man,” said Davide, the LP gubernatorial bet in Cebu.
Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia also welcomed Roxas’s appointment.
“The very first time he ran for senator in 2008, we went to Boljoon town. He is a good friend. I consider him a personal friend. I do welcome that development,” said the governor. . With Reporter Ador Vincent Mayol and Correspondents Norman V. Mendoza and Carmel Loise Matus