Surprise: Roxas tells LP he will run in 2016
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas has told party mates that he is interested in running for president, according to Senate President Franklin Drilon.
Roxas made his sentiments known to his colleagues in the ruling Liberal Party, Drilon told Radyo Inquirer in an interview on Friday.
“As of now, Mar Roxas has expressed interest internally that he wants to offer his candidacy to the public, and the party will probably endorse that. So as of now, it’s Mar Roxas,” Drilon told host Jake Maderazo.
Drilon, the LP’s vice president, said he does not know yet who the party is considering for its standard-bearer’s vice-presidential running mate.
He said the LP would be calling a convention to decide on its candidates for the top posts in the 2016 elections, though no date has been set yet.
Party members have long been saying that Roxas, who ran unsuccessfully for vice president in 2010, was the party’s presumptive standard-bearer.
President Aquino, the party’s titular head, is expected to announce his preferred successor in June.
Roxas ranked third among the names that voters said they would prefer to be president in 2016 in the most recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) voter preference survey conducted in late March and released on Thursday.
According to the results of the SWS survey, Vice President Jejomar Binay still occupies the top spot, but neophyte Sen. Grace Poe is closing in.
READ: Poe cuts down Binay lead
Of the names that the respondents mentioned as the ones they would like to succeed Mr. Aquino in 2016, only Binay has declared his plan to seek the presidency.
‘Competence and experience’
On Friday, in the face of the apparent threat from Poe, Binay released a statement warning the country against voting a neophyte or inexperienced officials for president in 2016.
The country should instead choose according to “competence and experience,” said Binay, who spoke at some length about his nearly three decades’ experience as a government official.
“The presidency only lasts for six years and this is too short. The one who will be elected should be experienced, not the one who will only be studying what to do in the event of [a] crisis,” said Binay.
Despite fighting off serious allegations of corruption for the past several months, Binay was shown in the most recent surveys—SWS and Novo Trends—to be the respondents’ top choice for president in 2016.
In the latest SWS survey, however, Poe went up 31 percent in March, from the 21 percent she posted in the last SWS survey in December. Only five percentage points separated her from Binay who lost one point, going down to 36 percent in March from 37 percent in December.
“I will run for president because I know that in the upcoming elections those with experience and competence in governance, those who have produced desirable results like what the Makati residents have been enjoying will be chosen by the Filipino people,” Binay said.
Taking credit for Makati
In the news release, Binay claimed that when he was appointed Makati mayor after the 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution, he took over a municipality that had P190 million in annual revenues and was about P200 million in debt.
Taking credit for the success of Makati, Binay claimed how his policies of instituting reforms, implementing fiscal discipline and sound management practices helped transform a bankrupt municipality to the country’s premier city.
In 2014, Makati posted P11.9 billion in revenue collections as its Makati Central Business District, the leading financial center in the country, hosts the biggest corporate headquarters.
Binay boasted how Makati is able to offer primary to tertiary healthcare under the Yellow Card health program—with free medicines and hospitalization—as well as a senior citizens care program that allows Makati’s elderly citizens to enjoy free movies, a birthday cake, medicine and cash allowances.
“Binay’s accomplishments in Makati propelled him to be named one of the top mayors of the world,” the Binay press statement said.
It enumerated Binay’s accomplishments, from his efforts to help Rodelio “Dondon” Lanuza, who had been in prison in Saudi Arabia for 13 years and had been sentenced to die, to secure his freedom and return home, to his performance as the head of the government’s housing program.
Local execs ‘better’
Binay said that because the President’s term is only six years, he plans to work with previous Cabinet members who performed well during their tenure.
“Because of that belief, should I win the presidency, I will choose those people with experience and had shown effectiveness in their jobs as members of my Cabinet,” he said.
Binay also claimed that local government executives are better equipped to handle national positions because of their experience in managing their localities.
“Look at America, many of their elected national officials became governors first,” he said.
“Managing local and national affairs are the same, except that in the latter the scope of the work would be for the entire country,” Binay said.
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