‘Optimistic, serene’ Roxas unfazed by poll cheating allegations
ROXAS CITY, Capiz – Despite allegations that the administration is working on “massive cheating” this elections, Manuel “Mar” Roxas II remains unruffled.
An hour after the Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer voted in this city, Roxas, while spending time with his family, conversed with some reporters and dismissed the cheating allegations as mere “alarmist propaganda.”
Asked about the rumors, Roxas paused, let out a sigh first and said: “Our republic is strong. Our institutions are much stronger than rumormongers. What is their proof? All of these are alarmist propaganda.”
Die-hard supporters of his friend-turned-nemesis Rodrigo Duterte vowed to launch protest if the leading presidential candidate, whom they said will lose only by election cheating, loses the race.
Just as Roxas cast his ballot, an unconfirmed report that several vote-counting machines were found inside the rooms of the upscale Novotel Hotel located at the Araneta Complex in Cubao, Quezon City.
READ: Roxas camp to PPCRV: Go, inspect alleged VCMs at Novotel, but…
Roxas’ spokesperson Barry Gutierrez questioned the timing of the release of the reports. He also challenged election watchdog groups and the Commission on Elections to inspect Novotel.
Visibly relaxed, Roxas greeted supporters and gamely posed for photos with his fellow Capiznons before casting his vote in his hometown, which has about 500,000 registered voters, on Monday.
“I’m very serene. I’m very optimistic. I’m at peace,” Roxas told reporters outside the precinct at Barangay Poblacion V in Roxas City where he voted.
Roxas’ current state was in contrast to the scene earlier at the Rufina Andrada Memorial School. It turned chaotic as LP standard-bearer went inside the small precinct room as supporters and members of the media swarmed around him and tried to get near him.
READ: Supporters mob Roxas as he votes in Capiz
At one point, Roxas asked photographers and cameramen to give some space for ordinary citizens voting beside him.
Wearing a yellow shirt sans the ribbon, the ruling party’s symbol, Roxas quietly shaded his ballot as broadcaster Korina Sanchez, also in yellow, watched and took photos of her husband.
Outside the precinct were his supporters trying to get a glimpse of their province mate vying for presidency.
Like in his previous pronouncements, Roxas said he is confident of winning the presidential race.
If Roxas wins, he will be the second Capiznon president after his grandfather Manuel Roxas.
“We ran this campaign clean and straight. I know in the end, the most deserving candidate will win,” Roxas told the media.
“I gave my all from the start until the end of the campaign. I have fought for my principles well,” he said.
He also thanked his supporters all over the country for accepting him and Robredo in their provinces, saying he was “moved and overwhelmed” by the support they are receiving.
Roxas and his entourage arrived at the Roxas Airport shortly before 8 a.m. Reporters thought he would go straight to the precinct but he decided to have breakfast in a carinderia (local eatery) near a market at Teodoro Arcenas Trade Center.
Later, his son Paolo and mother Judy Araneta, who just finished voting, arrived and joined Roxas in their simple breakfast which consisted of “Utan (vegetable soup)” and Fish “Tinola.” He also invited reporters to join them.
“Nahidlaw na gid ko. Namimiss ko ‘yung ating mga kababayan. ‘Yung matamis na hangin dito sa Capiz, miss na miss ko (I missed my province mates. The sweet-smelling air of Capiz, I miss it so much),” he said.
From the precinct, he proceeded to a hotel to have coffee with his wife, son and nieces. Roxas chatted with the media too and asked them, “So what are we going to do after voting? Are the malls open?”
Roxas said he’s interested to watch the superhero movie featuring Captain America, “Civil War.”
There, Roxas gamely posed and held handwritten “fan-signs” from his supporters, even some from members of the media.
Afterward, the Roxas family went to their residence in Baybay, Roxas City.
Upon seeing Roxas, his relatives at home, all wearing yellow, greeted him and kissed him. He then granted the request of photographers to pose beside the framed photographs of his late forefathers and brother Dinggoy Roxas.
The Roxas family invited select reporters for an intimate lunch–mainly seafood. Capiz is the seafood capital of the Philippines after all. CDG
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