Roxas on Binay run: Filipinos are smart voters
Video by INQUIRER.net’s Ryan Leagogo
It isn’t so much the possibility that he could lose to Vice President Jejomar Binay in the 2016 presidential election that bothers him.
What annoys Interior Secretary Mar Roxas more is the possibility that the anticorruption policy of President Benigno Aquino III will not continue under the leadership of Binay.
In a roundtable discussion with Inquirer editors and reporters on Tuesday night, Roxas was asked if he would be bothered by a Binay presidency.
Roxas replied: “I am bothered by the possibility that daang matuwid (straight path) will not continue.”
But Roxas said he believed the Filipino voters would choose their next President wisely.
“I think Filipinos are smart. I think Filipinos know what is in their best interest. I think Filipinos know what would be good choices,” he said.
Binay, the leader in early voter-preference polls, is hounded by allegations of corruption, with the Senate investigating charges of questionable contracts he entered into for the Makati government when he was mayor of the city.
At the center of the investigation by a Senate blue ribbon subcommittee is the alleged overpricing in the construction of the P2.28-billion Makati City Hall Building II, but the probe has been expanded to cover allegations that Binay owns an 8,877-square-meter lot in Makati and a 350-hectare agricultural farm in Rosario town, Batangas province.
The Vice President has denied all the allegations against him, claiming these are part of a smear campaign aimed at eliminating him from the 2016 race for Malacañang.
Binay defeated Roxas in the 2010 vice-presidential election, but Roxas is contesting the results of that race.
Political analysts have said it is not unlikely that Roxas will again lose to Binay in 2016.
Roxas gave way to Mr. Aquino in the 2010 presidential election. Mr. Aquino, then a senator, became the popular choice following the death of his mother, former President Cory Aquino.
Still no candidate
With 18 months to go before the next presidential election, President Aquino and the Liberal Party have yet to declare a presidential candidate although it is widely believed they will pick Roxas.
The President has repeatedly said he wants a successor who will press his good government program, which he claims has achieved significant gains, including an improved image of the Philippines that is attracting more foreign investment.
Asked if the presidency is on his mind, Roxas replied that he did not allow the thought to distract him from his work.
So much to do
There is so much to do from now until the Aquino administration winds down in 2016 that it feels the election is still so far away, he said.
Roxas extensively discussed a “deliberate, systematic and programmatic” approach he had developed with the Philippine National Police that he said had reduced the crime rate in Metro Manila by half after a yearlong test run.
But there was no escaping the 2016 question. Asked about President Aquino’s possible anointed one, Roxas said he would support whomever Mr. Aquino chose as the Liberal Party’s presidential standard-bearer.
Roxas likened the election to the Olympics—it is scheduled, it will take place.
So how is he, President Aquino and the Liberal Party preparing for the Olympics?
“The best preparation is performance,” Roxas said.
“The President and his party have delivered on a whole slew of items that were part of the agenda of the President and the party. I am not saying everything’s perfect. I am not saying we have attained nirvana. I am just saying that we are certainly better off today than where we were, exponentially different than where we were [before],” Roxas said.
Originally posted at 9:54 pm | Wednesday, December 3, 2014
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