Roxas open to working with Duterte admin ‘if for the good of many’
ROXAS CITY, Capiz — Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas has clarified that he is open to working with President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration if it is for the good of the people.
Roxas, who is seeking a return to the Senate, told reporters in Capiz on Thursday that he approves of some of the government’s policies, and even has suggestions to improve programs.
“Ako I will support anything that makes sense for our country. Kung ano’ng tama, kung ano’ng makakatulong sa ating bansa, sa pananaw ko na tama ito, tutulong ako (Whatever is right and what can help our people, in my opinion, I will help),” he said.
“Pero kung hindi naman tama o hindi naman makakatulong eh magsasalita din ako (But if it is not right or helpful, I will also speak my mind),” he added.
When asked what particular program he was referring to, Roxas cited the excise taxes on alcohol and cigarettes.
“In fact, ang suggestion ko, ipagpalit natin. Tanggalin natin ang buwis sa produktong petrolyo, i-palit natin ‘yong buwis sa alcohol at saka sa tobacco. Bakit? ‘Yong alcohol at tobacco, napatunayan ng mga nasa medical profession na nakakasama ito sa kalusugan ng mga tao, and of course ng isang komunidad,” he said.
(My suggestion is to scrap fuel taxes and slap taxes on alcohol and tobacco instead. Why? Because tobacco and alcohol have been proven dangerous to people’s health and the community’s health as well.)
“Samantala, ‘yong petrolyo, wala namang nasasaktan ‘yan, pangangailangan ‘yan ng ating ekonomiya sa ‘pag transport ng mga raw materials, at ng lahat ng produkto (Meanwhile, petroleum doesn’t hurt anyone. Our economy needs it for transport of raw materials and all kinds of products) ,” he added.
Roxas, who belongs to the opposition slate, has clashed with Duterte several times in the past, especially during their presidential bid.
The discord between the two allegedly began when Duterte claimed that Roxas’ camp was spreading malicious information about him having cancer and, thus, unfit for the presidency.
Duterte also called out Roxas, who was Interior secretary then, for mishandling the government’s response after Super Typhoon Yolanda devastated Tacloban.
The Liberal Party stalwart responded by saying that Duterte’s promise to eradicate the illegal drugs problem in three to six months is impossible because drugs are still being sold in Davao, where the President used to be mayor for more than 23 years.
Prior to these fiery exchanges, both considered each other as friends. Roxas also vowed that he would never joke about cancer since some of his relatives had battled with cancer. /ee
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