Roxas on lower survey ranking: ‘Okay lang ‘yan, family first’

Mara Cepeda

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Roxas on lower survey ranking: ‘Okay lang ‘yan, family first’
Otso Diretso senatorial bet Mar Roxas attributes the decrease in his survey numbers to the 20 days he spent overseas together with his family, including his newborn twins

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition senatorial candidate Mar Roxas is unfazed by the dip in his numbers in the latest Pulse Asia survey, saying he does not regret spending more than two weeks abroad with his family.

On Thursday, April 11, the former senator and interior secretary attributed the decrease in his survey performance to the 20 days he spent in the United States together with his wife and broadcaster Korina Sanchez, their newborn twins Pepe and Pilar, and his son from a previous relationship Paolo.

Roxas said this only means he would have to campaign harder.

“Okay lang ‘yan. Taas-baba naman parati ‘yong mga surveys. Pero alam ko rin na nawala ako halos 20 days para sa family. Sinundo ko ‘yong pamilya ko. So okay lang ‘yan. May one month pa naman. Campaign pa more!” Roxas said after a forum on the business processing industry held at Novotel Manila Araneta Center. 

(That’s okay. Survey numbers always go up and down. But I also know that I was gone for around 20 days for my family. I fetched my family. So that’s okay. There’s still one month to go. I will campaign more!)

Pulse Asia’s March senatorial survey showed Roxas falling to the 11th to 17th ranking, with 31.3% of respondents saying they would vote for him. Roxas fared better in February, when he ranked 8th to 12th, with 39.8% of respondents opting to vote for him. His awareness rating remained steady at 99%. (READ: Otso Diretso to ‘work twice as hard’ to pull up survey numbers)

Does Roxas regret being out of the country during the campaign period? 

“Of course not! Family ‘yon. Sinundo ko ‘yong family ko. Family first (Of course not! That’s for my family. I fetched my family. Family first.),” he said.

Roxas and Korina’s twins, who were born in February, were conceived via a surrogate almost a decade after the couple tied the knot. (READ: Mar Roxas on baby twins: I’m a dad and lolo at the same time)

Roxas, who ran but lost for president in the 2016 elections, has mostly been campaigning on his own.  

He has been seen with the Otso Diretso ticket only once since the campaign period started – when he joined the slate’s proclamation rally in Naga City on February 13. (READ: Roxas says solo campaign kickoff without Otso Diretso a non-issue

Asked if he would now join more Otso Diretso campaign sorties, Roxas evaded the question.

“I’m going to campaign as hard as I can in the next 30 days, 30 plus one day. Of course, may (there is also) Holy Week. So gano’n lang ‘yon (So that’s how it is),” said Roxas, before saying thank you to the reporters and ending the interview. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.