Duterte expresses support for Roxas in senatorial race
President Rodrigo Duterte urged the public to vote for his former political rival Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd in the 2019 senatorial elections, to see if he could really solve the illegal drug problem in the country.
“He is an Ilonggo. Vote for him, there’s no problem with that,” Duterte said in remarks during a visit to Boracay.
“I think Roxas will run again. Why don’t you try him and see for yourself? You can only measure a man’s stamina for doing a particular activity for his fellowmen,” he added.
After staying away from the political limelight for two years, Roxas filed his certificate of candidacy for senator in October.
Roxas, former interior and local government secretary, lost the May 2016 presidential elections to Duterte by over 6.6mn votes. Duterte mentioned Roxas while he was criticising former Philippine National Police deputy director general Marcelo Garbo Jr, whom the president named as among those generals who were allegedly involved in the illegal drug trade.
“This Garbo, I don’t know where he is, that idiot. You know Garbo was the police aide, senior aide of Roxas,” Duterte said.
Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo said Duterte supposedly vouching for Roxas was “good news.”
“That’s good news that President Duterte endorsed Secretary Mar for the Senate,” Robredo told reporters in a chance interview in Roxas City, Capiz yesterday.
Robredo said Duterte’s supposed endorsement was an affirmation that Roxas was “very much qualified” for the position. “There’s no doubt about the qualifications, and he (Roxas) should be supported,” she added.
Roxas was also secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications under the administration of former president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.
Robredo is endorsing her former running mate as part of the eight-man senatorial lineup of the Liberal Party-led Oposisyon Koalisyon for next year’s polls.
Roxas had received backlash for his alleged mismanagement of the rehabilitation efforts in Leyte after it was struck by Super Typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013.
Vice President Maria Leonor ‘Leni’ Robredo is escorted by senatorial hopeful and former Interior and Local Government secretary Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas, outside his residence in Capiz after meeting with local leaders of the province.