Roxas says he can work with any president
MANILA, Philippines — Former Interior Secretary and senatorial candidate Mar Roxas II said on Thursday that he has no problem serving under different presidents, claiming that his loyalty belongs to the people.
“My loyalty is to the people and the Filipino nation. If I was called for and I could contribute, why not?” he said in a statement.
Roxas, who is seeking a return to the Senate under the Otso Diretso slate, was reacting to President Rodrigo Duterte’s claims that he has no loyalty, after serving under three presidents who were not necessarily allied with each other.
“Just because you are a namesake of a Roxas eh mahusay ka. Itong tao na’to walang loyalty ito. Panahon ni [President Gloria] Arroyo, nandiyan siya. Panahon ni [President Benigno] Aquino [III], nandun siya. Wala ito. Pretends to be somebody. Tao na walang prinsipyo,” Duterte said during the PDP-Laban’s campaign sortie in Isabela on Wednesday.
(Just because you are a namesake of a Roxas, you are good. This person has no loyalty. During the time of Arroyo, he was there. During the administration of Aquino, he was also there. This is nothing. [He] pretends to be somebody. He has no principles.)
The former senator, who eventually lost to Duterte in the 2016 Presidential Elections, served under the administrations of former Presidents Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, and his former running-mate Benigno Aquino III.
Roxas was the Trade secretary under the Estrada and Arroyo administrations and was the Interior secretary in the previous administration. He also served as a senator during Arroyo’s term; he ran under the administration-backed K-4 slate.
He dismissed the President’s comments, saying he can serve the country under different administrations and take part in nation-building.
“So personally, if you can contribute, you can help, do your part. There’s an Ilonggo saying regarding everybody paddling in the same direction. So that we could achieve our goals faster, we have to paddle at the same time towards a good direction,” Roxas explained.
Previously, Duterte mocked Roxas, saying that he should be a traffic aide instead after videos of him directing traffic re-surfaced on social media.
Before the 2016 elections, Duterte and Roxas considered each other as friends, even floating the idea that the duo would run side-by-side. But the relationship turned sour during the campaign period when Duterte blamed Roxas for spreading lies about him, mainly rumors that he has cancer.
Roxas clapped back, saying he would never say such things considering that some of his relatives succumbed to the disease. /ee
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