Roxas: I was the ‘first’ gov’t official to ride the MRT, others just ‘copied’
RIDING the usually jampacked Metro Rail Transit (MRT) when Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas was a Trade secretary from 2000 to 2003 was not a publicity stunt. In fact, he said he was the first government official to ride the MRT, others just followed his way.
“I was the first one to ride the MRT. Marami diyan kumopya na lang eh,” said Roxas at the Meet the Inquirer Multimedia forum on Wednesday.
Roxas’ rival in the presidential race, Senator Grace Poe, drew praises from the public for braving the long lines at the MRT North Avenue station to get the feel of what the commutes are going through daily.
“But this is not gimmick. That’s the reality. I live in Cubao and the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) office is on Buendia (Gil Puyat). Hindi ito pagpapakitang tao. It’s an efficient way to go to work,” he said.
This was Roxas’ answer to a question from Inquirer Opinion Editor Rosario Garcillano who asked him how will he reach out to the masses as a presidential candidate when he was able to take the MRT when he was with DTI. He was the agency’s secretary in 2000.
Roxas said he wants to point out that even before others rode the MRT, he was there to share the daily struggle of common Filipinos.
“In other ways, too, like in simple conversations, in dialogues, talks, finding out the people’s problems. We are focusing on that,” said Roxas.
He also spoke of his presence at the aftermath of Bohol earthquake and Typhoon Yolanda and the 2013 siege of Moro National Liberation Front in Zamboanga where hundreds of locals died and left homeless.
“I was there for 21 days when the MNLF men attacked Zamboanga. Their whole life, the whole society were under threat. And that’s keeping it real,” he said.
“Every time there’s a calamity nandoon tayo. Everytime na nandoon tayo sa frontline nakikinig tayo at nakikihalubilo tayo sa ating mga kababayan,” Roxas added.
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