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MANILA, Philippines – Will Vice President Jejomar Binay score another victory over Interior Secretary Mar Roxas in 2016?
For Malacañang, the past 6 years will spell the difference.
In an interview on state-run dzRB on Saturday, August 1, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said that the situation in 2016 will be much different than in 2010, when Binay won over Roxas in the vice presidential race.
“Tingin ko marami hong nagbago mula nung 2010 patungo ho ng 2016,” Valte said. “At siguro ho ngayon, mas marami nang alegasyon ng korapsyon na hinaharap si Vice President Binay na hanggang ngayon ho ay hindi pa nila sinasagot sa Senado.”
(I think much has changed from 2010 leading to 2016. Vice President Binay is facing more corruption allegations that, until now, they have yet to answer in the Senate.)
Valte was responding to the statement of Binay that Roxas’ declared presidential bid would only “boost” his candidacy, as people can now compare their respective “experience, competence, and concern for the country.”
Opposition standard-bearer Binay is currently facing corruption allegations over anomalous infrastructure projects in Makati City, where he was mayor for 21 years. It was the subject of a Senate investigation that began in August 2014. Since then, he has slid in polls on presidential preference.
In defense of Roxas
While Roxas is untainted by corruption allegations, he has been accused of bungling operations during the Zamboanga siege in 2013. He was also heavily criticized for the government’s response to the devastation of Super Typhoon Yolanda in Eastern Visayas.
According to Binay’s camp, these indicate that Roxas is unfit to be president – a claim that Valte slammed.
“As the President said, it only validates the integrity and the hard work of Secretary Roxas when all these people use him to prop themselves up,” she said.
“Hindi ‘yung merito nung kandidato nila ‘yung pinag-uusapan, pero wala silang ginawa kundi banatan ‘yung kandidato naman ni Pangulong Aquino (They’re not talking about the merits of their candidate but they keep on hitting the candidate of President Aquino),” she added.
Aquino heaped praises on Roxas in his last State of the Nation Address, saying that the Cabinet official had shown that “you can’t put a good man down.”
Militant group Bayan has criticized Roxas for accepting Aquino’s endorsement. It alleged that this was tantamount to agreeing to become a “Noynoy 2.0,” in contrast to a public clamor for change.
Roxas’ presidential campaign is hinged on his promise that he will continue “Daang Matuwid (Straight Path)” and ensure that the Aquino administration’s good governance and anti-corruption platform endure.
While the President may personally find Roxas as an ideal candidate for his integrity, hard work, and competence, the main focus should be on good governance, said Valte.
“It’s the overarching principle that you want to continue because you’ve seen the gains that it has brought to us in the past 5 years,” she said.
Valte also assured that no government funds will be used for Roxas’ presidential campaign. – Rappler.com