Is 'Mr. Palengke' back? 'He was never gone' – Roxas
BUKIDNON, Philippines – During a trip to this province, Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II made a pitstop to a place which he credits for his huge victory as a senator many years back.
Roxas, here for a series of meetings with civil society groups, dropped by the Valencia City public market a little past 10 am on Thursday, August 13, shaking hands with vendors, shoppers and curious passers-by.
It was a scene reminiscent of his successful run for the Senate in 2004, which he topped with slightly more than 19 million votes. Bukidnon gave Roxas 249,613 votes in that race.
Fresh off his stint as trade and industry secretary then, Roxas’ win was boosted by the highly-successful “Mr. Palengke” television commercials which saw the Wharton graduate mingle with market folk.
Now that he’s gearing up for a 2016 presidential bid, is it time to bring “Mr. Palengke” back?
“Hindi naman nawala sa akin ang pagiging Mr palengke… nag-iba [lang] ang aking tungkulin. Gayunpaman, sa ibang mga tungkulin ko ay lagi kong naaalala na dapat masigla ang ating mga palengke dahil yun ang larawan na tayo ay isang komunidad,” Roxas told reporters after his visit to the public market.
(It’s not that Mr. Palengke left. It’s just that my role in government has changed. Even then, in everything that I do I always remember the importance of markets because it’s reflective of how well the community is doing.)
Roxas’ trip to Bukidnon comes two weeks after he was officially endorsed by President Benigno Aquino III to continue the administration’s transparency, good governance, and anti-corruption drive, all part of the “Daang Matuwid (Straight Path).”
For 2016, Roxas and the ruling LP say, it’s not going to be about a person. The administration wants the idea of “Daang Matuwid” and its continuity to fuel a Roxas win.
But will there be any monickers or characters in store for the coming elections? “Si Mar Roxas, yun lang 'yun (Mar Roxas, that’s it),” a laughing Roxas told reporters.
Roxas has a lot to work on. He is currently low in presidential preference surveys, placing 3rd or 4th behind survey frontrunners Senator Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Roxas and the LP are wooing Poe to run for vice president under the administration coalition, but all indications show Poe will be gunning for the presidency.
If that happens, Poe would be banking on the support of politicians who are part of the ruling coalition, causing it to collapse and complicating the landscape for Roxas. – Rappler.com
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- 2016 Philippine Presidential Elections
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