Roxas certain he’s not on Lacson’s list of ‘uncooperative’ Cabinet execs
MANILA, Philippines – Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II remained confident he was not among the Cabinet secretaries rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson has accused of failing to coordinate with him in the aftermath of Super Typhoon “Yolanda.”
In an interview at the House of Representatives during the Flood Summit, of which Roxas was a speaker, the secretary said he continues to harbor a close relationship with his former colleague in the Senate.
“Iniintriga niyo kami eh. Huwag na. Maayos ang relasyon. Partner nga tawagan namin sa isa’t isa,” an irate Roxas said.
(You’re causing intrigue. Our relationship is fine. We even call each other partners.)
“In fact, ang tawag niya sa akin ay ‘my four o’clock’ dahil sa kaniyang upuan sa Senado, ako ang nasa 4 p.m. niya kasi I have his back,” he explained, referring to their respective seating positions in the Senate.
(In fact, he calls me his four o’clock, because in the Senate I am behind him, and that means I have his back.)
“Ako ang tawag ko sa kanya, he’s my 10 a.m. (I call him my 10 a.m.),” Roxas said.
He added that he and Lacson are both men anyway, and that Lacson could easily text him if he has a problem. So far, Lacson has not told him anything, said Roxas.
“Si Ping, lalaki naman ‘yan eh. Kung may isyu sa amin, na wala naman, itetext niya naman ako. Wala naman siyang sinasabi (We’re men here, anyway. If Ping has an issue, even though he doesn’t have one, he will text him. But right now he is not saying anything of that sort),” Roxas said.
On Wednesday, Lacson said he was frustrated with two Cabinet secretaries who he said were not cooperating with him in the rehabilitation efforts.
“I need not name them. I suppose they know who they are,” he said during a regular Palace news briefing. “No matter how many times you call their attention, there’s no response, not even a word that it can’t be done or they cannot do it. There’s just nothing. Isn’t that frustrating?”
Roxas had once drawn flak for stalling rescue operations in the immediate aftermath of Yolanda when he supposedly brought up clan politics in Tacloban, a Romualdez bailiwick. Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez cried foul about Roxas’ discrimination instead of sending immediate aid to the city.
Romualdez is the nephew of Imelda Marcos, the widow of former president Ferdinand Marcos.
Roxas’ partymate and the country’s president is an Aquino, known to be political rivals with the Marcoses. President Aquino’s father was assassinated under the Marcos regime.
Roxas has denied bringing up clan politics.
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