Roxas at DILG won’t guarantee LP victory in 2013 polls—EnrileBy Cathy Yamsuan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said the entry of Secretary Mar Roxas in the Department of Interior and Local Government would not guarantee a Liberal Party victory in the senatorial elections in 2013.
“People are smarter now than before,” Enrile said in a radio interview.
He explained that the presence of an LP stalwart in the DILG would not provide “any significant advantage” to the ruling party, contrary to perceptions that a department with links to local government could be exploited in an election.
Enrile, considered one of the stalwarts of the opposition alliance called United Nationalist Coalition (UNA), said his group “is not intimidated by such issues. Eventually, it is the people who would decide.”
“Past electoral experiences have already shown that people are now more analytical when it comes to choosing their leaders,” he added.
The Senate President said, “other than the fact that they (LP) have a competent secretary in the DILG, there are other factors involved in any election (such as) the condition of the country, events and the persuasive ability of (an individual) candidate.”
Former President Joseph Estrada was more brutal in an earlier interview, noting that his running mate, UNA’s Jejomar Binay, defeated Roxas in 2010′s vice presidential race.
“No administration holds the people by the nose. Remember that in 1971, the party mates of President Marcos were wiped out during the election because of what happened in Plaza Miranda,” Enrile recalled.
“That only goes to show that you cannot dictate on the electorate. Voters are not herds or school of fish or a swarm of bees. They are thinking people,” he stressed.
The Plaza Miranda bombing, widely thought to be a handiwork of the Marcos regime, caused the landslide victory of most candidates of an earlier embodiment of the LP that had the fathers of Roxas and President Aquino as its members.
Now that the LP has resurrected itself as a political Goliath, Enrile said UNA could rise like David to win the elections.