Roxas: ’Natural' for Erap to pick Poe
MANILA, Philippines – Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II shrugged off the support of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada for rival Grace Poe.
"Tulad ng sinabi ko ay natural na pipiliin niya yung kandidato ng katunggali ko, so ganun lang yun, simple lang yun," he told reporters in a chance interview on Monday, March 28. (READ: Erap endorses 'my goddaughter' Grace Poe for president)
(Like I said, it's natural for him to pick my rival. That's it, it's that simple.)
Roxas is allied with Estrada’s rival for the mayoral race, former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim.
Roxas and Lim went around and campaigned in Manila on Monday, ahead of the ruling party's proclamation rally at Plaza Miranda. It's the LP's kickoff for the start of the campaign period for local races. (READ: Lim: Erap won in 2013 due to 'mass buying of votes')
Estrada is endorsing Poe for president and Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr for vice president.
A former president who was convicted and later pardoned for plunder, Estrada remains a popular figure in the city of Manila and the rest of the Philippines. He is the patriarch of the Estrada-Ecerjito political clan, which hold positions or exert influence in Manila, San Juan City, and Laguna province. Two of his sons – Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito – are incumbent senators.
Roxas once served as trade and interior secretary during Estrada's presidency. Estrada used to praise Roxas for his performance in his Cabinet, fueling speculation that the LP bet would get his endorsement.
But that was doused in late 2015, when Estrada declared he was only choosing between Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay for his presidential candidate.
Lim, speaking to reporters Monday, claimed Estrada's popularity in Manila has waned because of unpopular policies under his term.
Manila is home to close to 1 million voters and is part of the National Capital Region, traditionally an opposition bailiwick. Roxas' preferrebce numbers in NCR are low; they have never gone past 11%. – Rappler.com
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