Roxas disowns aid that politician says Korina approved
ROXAS CITY—It’s one relief operation that Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II wouldn’t want to take credit for.
Roxas disowned the relief operation for survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” here and Capiz province launched by a political rival, Joel Longares, who lost in the elections for governor of Capiz.
In a press statement read for Roxas by the local government secretary’s ally in Capiz, Gov. Victor Tanco, Roxas said while he lauds the efforts by a businessman to gather donations for survivors of Yolanda, he has no part in it.
The statement did not mention Longares as the businessman, but it was apparently referring to Longares as Longares is the only businessman here launching a relief operation at the time Tanco read Roxas’ statement over a radio station here.
Longares ran for governor
under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President
Jejomar Binay but lost to three-termer Tanco of the Liberal Party (LP) by a huge margin of votes.
Binay has been reported to be the closest political rival of Roxas in the 2016 presidential elections.
In a press conference on Sunday by Longares to announce his relief operation at the Mambusao civic center, a streamer carrying the words “With the support of DILG Sec. Mar Roxas” hung at the stage with Longares’ streamer and another streamer bearing the name of Mambusao Mayor Leodegrio Labao Jr.
When asked about Roxas’ name on the streamer, Longares admitted that he did not meet the secretary in person but only his wife, news reader Korina Sanchez, during a lunch meeting in Manila recently.
“The inclusion of the secretary’s name has the approval of his wife Korina. (That’s) the reason why I included his name here,” Longares said.
During last year’s campaign, Korina featured the life of Longares on her TV program “Rated K.”
Longares said he included the name of Labao in the credits for the relief operation because civic groups in Mambusao are helping in the operation.
On Monday, Longares’ volunteers started sorting relief goods for distribution, initially, in the towns of Mambusao, Panay and Dumarao and Roxas City.
He said his relief operation was not in any way related to politics. “Just because I lost does not mean I cannot help,” Longares said. It took him two months to solicit donations, mostly from Filipinos in the United States.
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