Roxas distributes hundreds of patrol jeeps to 8 provinces
LAGUNA, Philippines – Is this his last hurrah as interior secretary?
Manuel Roxas II, administration standard-bearer and interior secretary, on Monday, August 17, led the distribution of 204 patrol jeeps to 8 provinces more than 2 weeks after he was endorsed by President Benigno Aquino III as his bet for 2016.
The governors of the beneficiary provinces were at Camp Vicente Lim, Laguna, to receive the patrol jeeps.
The units were among more than 1,000 acquired by the Philippine National Police (PNP), which is under the supervision of Roxas as the interior chief. (READ: Roxas 'welcomes' probe into PNP patrol jeeps)
The past months, Roxas has been going around to the country to lead the distribution of the 4x4 patrol jeeps to different provinces.
Unlike previous distributions this batch was distributed in one go:
- Quezon (39)
- Bulacan (21)
- Nueva Ecija (27)
- Palawan (23)
- Occidental Mindoro (11)
- Oriental Mindoro (14)
- Cebu (44)
- Zamboanga del Norte (25)
“'Yung mga governors ay nandito sa Maynila, so minarapat na para hindi na sila magbyahe pa, nandito na rin sila so dito na ginawa,” said Roxas when asked why the jeeps were given away in Laguna and not delivered directly to the provinces.
(The governors are already in Manila, so we figured instead of making them travel back, let’s just distribute it here – more efficient and more effective.)
Part of the deal the PNP struck with the patrol jeep manufacturers is for the latter to deliver the jeeps to their intended provinces. Speaking to reporters, Roxas said the manufacturer will still be responsible for transporting the new patrol jeeps, even if they were already turned over to the governors.
If the Palace is to be believed, the distribution of the new patrol jeeps is among the reasons why President Benigno Aquino III has yet to accept the resignation of Roxas as interior secretary.
In previous interviews, Roxas acknowledged the need to step down after declaring his plans to run for president in 2016.
When asked if this would be his last distribution of the new patrol jeeps, Roxas refused to answer. “Ang Pangulo ang makakapagsabi niyan (Only the President can answer that.)”
The president-on-leave of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) had earlier dismissed allegations that he would use his post – or government resources – to boost his chances. As interior secretary, Roxas also has supervision over local government units in the country.
Roxas has touted the distribution of police patrol jeeps – and of brand new firetrucks – as proof that the Aquino administration doesn’t play politics in delivering services and much-needed equipment.
“Walang pinili, walang iniwan, at hindi tinanong kung ano ang pulitika, kung ano ang chaleco, at sino nanalo sa bawat bayan na yon. Pantay po ang pagtingin ng pamahalaan sa ating mga kababayan,” Roxas said in a speech before governors and mayors in Laguna.
(We don’t discriminate, we don’t ask who you’re allied with, what party color you wear, or who won in which town. The national government treats everyone fairly.) – Rappler.com