Roxas still coy on plans, choice of running mate
Interior Secretary Mar Roxas remains coy on his presidential run and his choice of a running mate, but stressed that a leader who will continue the programs and policies of the Aquino administration is what the country needs to become more progressive.
Roxas, the presumptive standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party, said that in the last five years the country had made significant gains under President Aquino’s administration, which he called the “first phase” in attaining progress.
“We want to have Phase 2, Phase 3 [because] it takes a generation to move our country forward,” Roxas said on Friday at the sidelines of the opening of the National Science and Technology Week (NSTW) in Pasay City where he was the guest speaker.
Roxas appeared to be in high spirits during the event, prompting media members to ask him if President Aquino already gave him his endorsement.
“[I’m] happy because we’re at the NSTW, where all the technologies and applications [showcased here] are made by Filipinos,” said Roxas, who was mobbed by students wanting to take a selfie with the secretary.
When asked if he has already chosen a running mate, Roxas maintained that there’s a step-by-step process.
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” he said.
Roxas currently ranks third and fourth in the recent polls for presidential candidates. He is behind front-runner Sen. Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
With only three months left before the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy, Roxas, without naming names, took a swipe at candidates who want to bring the country “to another direction,” as he asked the public of what it wants for the country’s future.
“[Next year’s elections] isn’t about personalities. The candidate here is the ‘daang matuwid’ (straight path). Do we want to sustain the goodness and progress we are experiencing now? Do we want to take a U-turn or continue on the straight path, where the interest of the country is of utmost concern,” Roxas said.
He, however, maintained that he was not saying that the administration was perfect. “But, I believe our countrymen can say that we had gone a long way. We already have the momentum and we can fast forward this to the progress we have always wanted,” he said.
On Tuesday, the Inquirer reported that the Nationalist People’s Alliance (NPC) and Nacionalista Party were forming a tactical alliance to support the possible run for Malacañang of Senators Poe and Francis Escudero. The two parties, who form part of the administration coalition, has since denied such an agreement.
Roxas also revealed that he talked on Thursday to Batangas Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza, NPC’s secretary general, who stressed that “the coalition between the NPC and Liberal Party remains.”
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.