What’s wrong with Roxas? He tries too hard to impress the ‘masa’—Gonzales
MANILA, Philippines—A Liberal Party (LP) stalwart has this advice for Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II to effectively promote himself as the party’s presumptive presidential candidate: Don’t try too hard.
In a press conference Tuesday, Majority floor leader and Mandaluyong Representative Neptali Gonzales II said if he would run Roxas’ campaign, he would find that the big problem of Roxas is that he tries too hard to impress the public.
Roxas drew flak on social media for trying to act like a commoner or “masa” in the conduct of his duties as Cabinet official. He has been seen as controlling traffic as a traffic enforcer, hauling a sack of rice, and was even caught on camera trying to get off from a fallen motorcycle.
“Yung message niya, hindi nagka-come across sa mga mahihirap. Ang problema kay Mar… everything he does, nabibigyan ng meaning. Ang sasabihin, trying too hard maging masa,” Gonzales said when asked about Roxas’ problem why he had not been faring well in election surveys.
Gonzales said Roxas should not be blamed for being born rich. Roxas is part of the landed elite Araneta-Roxas clan.
He said what Roxas should do is to show to the masses that they can rise from poverty to prosperity through hard work.
“Kasalanan ba niya na pinanganak siya na mayaman? Hindi naman niya kasalanan.yun. Ang pinakamahalagang mensahe na ipakita niya ay despite the fact na mayaman siya, gusto niya rin na marating ng mga tao ang taas ng antas ng buhay,” Gonzales said.
“Everyone can do that. Hindi nangangahulugan nanggaling kang mahirap, ikaw lang ang tanging may pamamaraan na mag-angat ng buhay ng iba,” he added.
Roxas is President Aquino’s presumed successor for the 2016 elections. Roxas was supposed to run as president in 2010 but he gave way to then Senator Aquino, whose popularity surged after the death of his mother former president Corazon Aquino. He eventually won the presidential election.
Despite the president’s presumed endorsement, Roxas had been faring poorly in surveys compared to his assumed presidential opponent Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Roxas and Aquino share a common family relationship. Their fathers, former senators Gerry Roxas and opposition leader Benigno Aquino Jr., were long-time friends in the LP.
Meanwhile, Gonzales said the popularity of Senator Grace Poe, another popular presidential bet, is subject to changing public opinion.
Poe is the adopted daughter of the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., who despite his fame lost to Gloria Arroyo as president amid massive election fraud allegations in 2004. Having come from chairing the Movie Television Review and Classification Board, Poe led the Senate race in the 2013 elections despite minimal political experience.
“Politics is perception, whether you like it or not. Public opinion can always change overnight,” Gonzales said.
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