Salceda: Roxas lacks empathy
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay—Former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas’ lack of empathy was one of the reasons why Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said he left Liberal Party to support the tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero.
“Like in 2010—and Chiz has seen this—I want a president who’s sincere and true to the people. So, if you just use that criterion, it’s obvious who is it,” Salceda told reporters on Thursday.
“Secondly, they’ve been campaigning for nine months, but they never went to Albay—not once. Many times they’ve been to [Camarines Sur], Sorsogon, but when they get there it’s just ‘airport-highway-train, airport-highway-train …’” he said. “Nabibingi na lang ako (I’m getting tired of listening).”
Salceda did not say who he was referring to but he used to support LP’s standard-bearer Mar Roxas and running mate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo before defecting to the camp of Poe and Escudero.
Asked if he didn’t find Roxas sincere, the governor said: “Hindi naman ganoon ’yon (It’s not like that).”
But what did Roxas lack that he decided to dump him for Poe? “Empathy,” Salceda said.
“I don’t know, it comes from my heart. During the time of Gloria (Macapagal-Arroyo), when the ‘Garci’ issue came out—‘ma’am, let’s create a mandate through good policies,’” he said.
“But it didn’t work because a mandate is freely given by a people to a person who embodies and articulates their dream.”
Salceda was referring to former President and now detained Pampanga Representative Arroyo and the “Hello Garci” scandal, which involved an alleged recording of a conversation between her and then elections commissioner Virgilio Garcillano to rig the 2004 elections.
“So beyond the technical aspects of it, what is more critical to me is, ‘Does a leader inspire you?’ So Grace inspires me,” Salceda said.
The governor denied speculations that he left the LP because he could not get enough funds from the party.
“No. Who said that?” he said.
“Why? Did Grace give me anything? Are they saying that Grace gave me (something)? If that’s the logical converse of that statement, then I should have transferred to the No. 1. Why did I go to the No. 2? That when I moved, Duterte was up by 12 points?”
Salceda was referring to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s lead over Poe in the latest election surveys.
“All these other speculations are meaningless and are just like that, speculations,” he said.
Asked if he and Roxas are not on good terms, Salceda said: “He has no reason to get angry. I did everything for him.”
“Kung pagmamahal sa bahay lang naman talaga ang iisipin, lahat nang ito ay maiintindihan mo, na may proseso tayo na sinusunod (If we’re talking about our love for home, all of these will be understood, that we have to go through a process),” he said.
After announcing his decision, Salceda said he received calls from his party mates.
He did not say if Roxas was among those who called him.
“Of course, like any political party, they will try to keep their members and keep the integrity of the party together,” he said. RC/rga
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