'FINGERS CROSSED

Roxas hopes Ne­grenses will still be there for him in May 2019 elec­tions

Sun Star Bacolod - - Front Page - BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA

ROXAS CITY — For­mer In­te­rior sec­re­tary Manuel Roxas II is hop­ing that his fel­low Ne­grenses will still sup­port him in the May 2019 polls.

Roxas who leads the op­po­si­tion slate called Otso Diretso is run­ning for se­na­tor in the com­ing elec­tions.

Few days be­fore the start of the cam­paign pe­riod, the op­po­si­tion kicked off their sor­tie here, the home­town of Roxas, Thurs­day.

He was joined by Se­na­tor Bam Aquino, Mag­dalo Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Gary Ale­jano, hu­man rights lawyer Chel Dio­kno, Marawi civic leader Samira Gu­toc, for­mer so­lic­i­tor-gen­eral Florin Hil­bay, elec­tion lawyer Romy Ma­cal­in­tal, and for­mer House deputy speaker Erin Tañada in the se­ries of town hall meet­ings here.

Roxas and his group were wel­comed by the Ilong­gos dur­ing their visit here.

When asked how con­fi­dent he is with the Ilonggo votes to boost his sen­a­to­rial bid, Roxas said: “waay ko ga kumpiyansa (I don’t give con­fi­dence). I’m not com­pla­cent.”

More­over, he is also hop­ing that his fel­low Ne­grenses will still con­tinue to sup­port him even if most of the lo­cal of­fi­cials have al­ready jump shipped to the ad­min­is­tra­tion party.

Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal, one of the coun­try’s vote-rich prov­inces, has more than 1.7 mil­lion reg­is­tered vot­ers. It is a known baili­wick of Roxas, as his mother, Judy Araneta-roxas, is from Bago City.

In the 2016 pres­i­den­tial race, Roxas had an over­whelm­ing win in Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal against his op­po­nents in­clud­ing the even­tual win­ner, Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte.

After Duterte as­sumed the pres­i­dency, the ma­jor­ity of the of­fi­cials in the prov­ince led by Gov­er­nor Al­fredo Marañon Jr. and Third Dis­trict Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Al­fredo Ben­itez took

their oath as mem­bers of the rul­ing Par­tido Demokratiko Pilipino­lakas Ng Bayan (Pd­pla­ban), the ad­min­is­tra­tion party.

Roxas said he is keep­ing his “fingers crossed” that Ne­grenses will still sup­port him in this elec­tion.

“I keep my fingers crossed. I’m hope­ful they’re still there,” he said.

He said the Ne­grenses know him and how he works, as he as­sured them he will con­tinue to give his sup­port to Ne­gros.

Roxas was in­stru­men­tal in the cre­ation of Ne­gros Is­land Re­gion, which was later abol­ished by Duterte.*

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