Palace tells voters: Platforms, not personalities
INSTEAD of focusing on “personalities” running in the 2016 presidential election and their “personal narratives,” voters should pay more attention to the candidates’ campaign platforms or programs of government.
This was Malacañang’s response Monday when asked if the administration considered Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte a “threat” to the presidential bid of Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas.
After insisting for months that he would not run and would just retire, Duterte suddenly announced he was joining next year’s presidential race.
In a press briefing, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda pointed out “the thing with people running is that we’re so focused on the personalities involved.”
“But at the end of the day, I think you should recognize and people should be more discerning in what each candidate presents to the public. What really is the offer?” he said.
He emphasized that “whether it’s Sen. Grace Poe, Mayor Duterte, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago or Secretary Mar Roxas, it’s important for the public to know and to sift through and filter and be conscious of the platform of each and every candidate.”
“That’s more important than the narratives, the personal narratives,” he pointed out.
According to Lacierda, “we need to hear instead the personalities’ platform.”
“Let’s talk about what are they going to do with jobs. We have a clear idea and we know for a fact that Secretary Mar Roxas has that. (But) what do the others contribute? What do the others have?” he asked.
“Let’s talk about issues. Let’s talk about your program of government. But regardless of who runs, the final analysis, at the end of the day is the people want to know what are you going to offer to the Filipino people?” he said.
Lacierda, who has been chided for acting like Roxas’ spokesperson, said the administration was “confident that our candidate has something to offer to the Filipino people.”
“It’s clear to our administration on what our candidate will do,” he said as he asserted that Roxas “will level up and accelerate daang matuwid,” the administration’s reform agenda.
Earlier, Lacierda said unlike other candidates who were promising change, Roxas and other administration candidates were running on a platform of continuity.
Taking an apparent swipe at Poe’s perceived promise of change, he said the administration’s reforms should be continued for the country to prosper.
Poe was initially considered by Mr. Aquino as the possible LP presidential candidate. He eventually endorsed Roxas as his preferred successor, saying the latter was more experienced than the senator.
For his part, Roxas said that no Filipino would want a “foreigner” for a President, apparently referring to Poe, whom he once courted to be his running mate and who is facing disqualification cases due to questions over her citizenship for being a foundling.
Asked if he agreed with Duterte’s reason for joining the presidential race, which was to ensure no American would become President, Roxas said he shared that view.
“I think, without any specificity, all of us do not want a foreigner for our President, right?” Roxas said.
Without naming Poe, Roxas said the question was not about being a Filipino or not, but about “being a natural-born Filipino as defined by the Constitution.”
However, although knowing Poe was a foundling, Roxas had publicly pursued Poe to be his running mate before the latter decided to launch an independent run for the presidency. With a report from DJ Yap
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