NAGA CITY, Cebu: Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd has downplayed the support of Cebu’s political clans to his rivals, describing the Cebuano political families as discredited politicians.
Roxas expressed such sentiments during his second campaign stop in Cebu, home to 2.7 million registered voters.
The One Cebu party led by former Government Service Insurance System president Winston Garcia is supporting the Palace bid of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, while the Bakud party led by Cebu Rep. Ace Durano is backing the presidential run of Sen. Grace Poe.
“These alliances are with discredited politicians. The Cebuanos have seen the governance of Gov. Junjun Davide and Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale. They have seen the government’s infrastructure projects here, PhilHealth and 4Ps, among others. I trust that the Cebuanos know how to gauge a candidate and they will see what is good for their children,” Roxas told reporters.
Gwen Garcia, brother of Winston, is facing graft charges before the Sandiganbayan over the allegedly anomalous construction of the Cebu International Convention Center, which was used as venue of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in 2007 when she was still Cebu governor.
In addition, Gwen is also facing graft and technical malversation of public funds raps before the same anti-graft court over the purchase of a 24.7-hectare property worth over P98 million for a housing project in Barangay Tinaan, Naga City, Cebu back in 2008.
Durano, on the other hand, served as the Tourism secretary of then President Gloria Arroyo, who is under hospital detention over a pending P366 million plunder charge stemming from alleged misuse of state charity fund.
While he dominated the 2010 vice presidential race in Cebu, Roxas is expected to face a tougher challenge this time since Duterte speaks the Cebuano language and was born in Danao, Cebu.
Roxas, however, maintained that Duterte would not stand against him in Cebu, considering that Duterte is endorsing the New People’s Army’s collection of revolutionary tax.
“How can our economy grow if we are paying revolutionary tax to the rebels who are ruining our economy? That’s what sets me apart from Duterte. Mar Roxas is for stirring our economy and I have proven that. I am not espousing theories,” he said.
“It’s fact of life that he can speak Cebuano, but I am confident that the Cebuanos will choose someone who can engineer progress. Here in Cebu, there are economic zones and jobs available. There are call centers, with Cebu even ranking seventh in the world in terms of BPO (business process outsourcing),” Roxas added.