‘Cory magic is still there’
The “Cory magic” is still there.
So, President Benigno Aquino III needs to stump for Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as if he were the candidate to get him elected President next year, Liberal Party (LP) leaders said on Saturday.
Six years after her death, democracy icon President Corazon Aquino’s memory and impact continue to reverberate even in the small group that gathered at her tomb at the Manila Memorial Park on Saturday to remember her.
Her only son, President Aquino, said that through the decades of unity and cooperation, “we have reached, in a sense, harvest time.”
“Our parents and grandparents would say that all the trials and tribulations in raising us were somehow worth it. I have to reiterate that none of the things that have been done [was] done by a single individual. [It] has always been we working for everybody,” Mr. Aquino said.
Mrs. Aquino’s death from colon cancer on Aug. 1, 2009, triggered calls for then Sen. Noynoy Aquino to run for President amid the country’s growing discontent with the administration of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, which was mired in allegations of corruption.
The public clamor for Senator Aquino to run for President forced then Sen. Mar Roxas to step aside and run for Vice President. He lost the race to former Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay.
On Friday, President Aquino announced that Roxas was the administration coalition’s presidential candidate in next year’s general elections.
Leaders of the ruling LP said on Saturday that the President should stump for Roxas as if he were the candidate to help him win the presidential race.
They said his endorsement would improve Roxas’ poll standing.
“The President’s endorsement is immeasurable. It will increase the support base of Secretary Mar on a week-to-week, month-to-month basis. The degree of increase will really depend on the time and effort the President will extend,” said Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, one of the most avid supporters of Roxas in the LP.
Iloilo Rep. Jerry Treñas said the President’s endorsement should immediately lead to a spike of 5 to 10 percentage points in Roxas’ poll ratings.
In the latest Social Weather Stations poll, Roxas ranks third, behind Binay and the new front-runner, junior Sen. Grace Poe.
In the latest Pulse Asia poll, Roxas ranks fourth, behind Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Binay and Poe.
Poe and Duterte, however, have yet to decide whether to run.
“The [President’s] endorsement will give the candidacy of Secretary Mar the momentum so that it will take off. A lot will really depend during the next nine months as Secretary Mar goes around the country and continues to explain the gains of [the administration’s reform program], the need for its continuity and why Mar Roxas as President can ensure that the gains will be continued and even strengthened,” Treñas said.
Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said the President’s endorsement alone should push Roxas within striking distance of the front line.
“We must remember that we have a very popular sitting President who will be campaigning nationwide for Mar Roxas. The anticorruption campaign of P-Noy is fitting for Mar Roxas, who is untainted with any corruption issue during his long stint in the government,” Evardone said.
Being remembered, too
Roxas joined Mr. Aquino, his sisters, and the rest of the Aquino family in remembering Mrs. Aquino, whose tomb and that of her husband, assassinated opposition leader Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., were both bedecked with bright yellow flowers.
Standing along with other wreaths was one from Binay, who resigned from the Cabinet in late June to become leader of the opposition and had since been criticizing the Aquino administration.
Loyal friends of the Aquino family were also present, including Fr. Catalino Arevalo, who celebrated the commemorative Mass.
Arevalo is also spiritual adviser to President Aquino as he was to President Cory.
As “Bayan Ko” was sung at the end of the Mass, President Aquino flashed the L, for the Laban, sign and everybody followed.
Mrs. Aquino’s former spokesperson, Deedee Siytangco, said that the “yellow army” would certainly support Roxas’ candidacy, as it would be a continuation of the Aquino family’s fight for democracy.
Kris mum on Roxas
The President’s youngest sister, celebrity Kris Aquino, however, gave an enigmatic answer when asked what she thought of Roxas carrying on her parents’ legacy.
“I promised Noy to keep quiet about that. My brother and I spoke about [it],” she said, adding that the public would know it “in due time.”
Kris said she and Binay’s daughter Anne remained close friends.
She also said she would no longer vote in Makati City, as she had moved to Quezon City. She said she would have her biometrics taken today by the Commission on Elections.
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