MILITANT umbrella group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) on Tuesday accused the ruling Liberal Party (LP) of using government resources to boost the chances of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas for next year’s elections.
“This unapologetic abuse of power is supposedly what PNoy and his party fought against, but now they are guilty of the very same evils they once condemned,” Renato Reyes Jr, the group’s secretary general, said in a statement.
Most recent surveys have Roxas finishing behind Sen. Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay, and Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
“Roxas could have irrevocably resigned out of delicadeza, but it’s obvious that his resigning and Aquino’s refusal to accept it is all a show, pakitang tao lang para masabi na marangal sya kuno (just to impress us that he supposedly has integrity),” Reyes said.
Roxas tendered his resignation as Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary but was reportedly persuaded by Aquino to extend his stint in the cabinet to complete several unfinished tasks like the modernization of the Philippine National Police and the relocation of informal settlers in Metro Manila.
Reyes said Roxas, after his anointment, has been going around the country in a “pseudo campaign” being billed to taxpayers. The latest of his trips was a campaign sortie in Cebu attended by the President and members of the Cabinet who are expected to run for seats in the Senate, such as Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, Health Secretary Janette Garin, and MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino.
Apart from the “gatherings” of friends, Roxas’ activities include the distribution of fire trucks and patrol cars to local government units as part of their “capability enhancement.” He has also been visible in the distribution of “emergency funds” for victims of 2013’s typhoon Yolanda.
“It’s been more than 500 days since Yolanda, the victims have been clamoring for housing, livelihood and financial assistance for years. Now it arrives courtesy of Mar Roxas during the initial stages of preparations for the May 2016 presidential elections. The timing is obvious,” Reyes said.
“PNoy’s “chosen one” is now going around the country acting like Santa Claus carrying loads of goodies. It’s not yet Christmas and definitely too early for the 2016 campaign period. This is “Daang Sira-Sira at Baku-Bako [broken and dirt roads]” at its finest. There’s nothing Mar-angal [dignified]about what Secretary Roxas is doing with the people’s money,” he noted.