Roxas ‘admires’ Robredo, but Poe remains top choice for VP
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas is not giving up on Sen. Grace Poe whom he wants to be his running mate in the 2016 elections.
He has even defended Poe from questions on her citizenship, saying he believes that the senator is a Filipino.
The secretary has also said he admires Camarines Sur Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo due to her capabilities and unblemished record in the House of Representatives.
He has told reporters that the creation of “Leni Robredo for Vice President Movement” is a good development and congratulated the Kaya Natin! movement and Urban Poor Associates for launching it.
But Roxas on Wednesday said Poe remained his top choice for vice president.
“Hindi naman tayo pabago-bago. Meron tayong outstanding na imbitasyon kay Senator Poe. Ito ‘yung kasalakuyang posisyon at pananaw ko at ng Pangulo at ng partido (We have not changed our minds. We have an outstanding invitation to Senator Poe. This my present position and the view even of the President [Aquino] and the party),” he said.
Roxas defended Poe from questions on her citizenship raised by United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
“Naniniwala ako na Pilipina si Senator Poe. Inimbita ko nga maging running mate. So, kung may problema ang UNA, siguro sila na ang bahala kung anong gagawin nila doon. Meron naman nakatakdang proseso para ma-determina lahat ‘yan (I believe Senator Poe is a Filipina. I invited her to be my running mate. So, if UNA has a problem with that, it’s up to them what to do about it. There is a due process to determine everything),” he added.
Roxas was in Cebu on Wednesday to speak at the 62nd Philippine Sugar Technologies (Philsutech) annual national convention at Waterfront Hotel in Barangay Lahug in this city.
In his message, Roxas asked the support of the agriculture sector in his bid to continue President Aquino’s “daang matuwid (straight path)” campaign.
“I ask for your help, I appeal to you to stay together in the daang matuwid that brings the prosperity that we are experiencing today,” he added.
Roxas also met with the farmers at the capitol during the launching of Farmers’ Day and led the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the Agro-Machinery Expo 2015.
He also had breakfast with business process outsourcing employees at a fast-food restaurant inside Cebu IT Park in Barangay Lahug.
Roxas met with civil society groups in Talisay City before flying to Cagayan de Oro City on board a lear jet with tail number RP-C2910.
The secretary met with leaders of Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) at Liberal Party’s Balay headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City, on Tuesday.
In the evening, NPC hosted a dinner with Poe and Sen. Francis Escudero at the NPC headquarters in the sprawling Cojuangco estate on Balete Drive.
Among those who attended the meeting with Roxas was Bacolod Rep. Evelio Leonardia.
“We were invited by the Secretary Mar Roxas camp as NPC members because we have an existing alliance with the Liberal Party,” he said.
“It was also clear that the NPC, as a party, has not yet made an official announcement regarding its plans for 2016. It was nevertheless a friendly and enlightening experience,” he added.
Leonardia said Roxas spoke about his sense of mission, basic philosophies and political insights. The highlight of the meeting was an open discussion of issues and events.
“The meeting was social and political because those who attended are mostly long-time friends and acquaintances,” he added.
“It was cordial, candid and spirited. The overall mode was exploratory and could be interpreted that the doors between the two parties will remain open,” Leonardia said. RC
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