Duterte ex­presses sup­port for Roxas in sen­a­to­rial race

Gulf Times - - PHILIPPINES - By Cather­ine S Va­lente

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.

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