The endorsement of President Benigno Aquino 3rd does not guarantee a candidate’s victory in 2016, according to Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.
Belmonte said Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas, the presumptive standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party, should not rely on Aquino’s endorsement.
“That (endorsement) is just a bonus. I don’t think it should be the principal consideration at all,” Belmonte, the LP Vice Chairman, told reporters.
Roxas has been trailing in surveys on probable presidential bets. He ranked fourth in the Pulse Asia survey, behind former President Joseph Estrada and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe. In the Social Weather Stations poll, Roxas ranked third but still way behind Binay and Poe.
Belmonte said instead of relying on the President’s anointment, Roxas should work his way up the best way– by himself.
“He can continue to work on it. It’s a good thing that by October, these officials who are running will be forced to resign. They won’t be a part of the official family, they can disagree with the President if they want to, they can do their thing, sell their own dream,” the speaker pointed out.
Belmonte, however, conceded that Roxas will have a tough time overtaking Poe.
“Grace’s ratings are too good. She has been performing quite well. She has led the passage of the FOI (Freedom of Information) bill and the inquiry on the Mamasapano tragedy. And being in the Senate is really the easiest way to go up because they have national constituency,” the House leader said.
On the other hand, Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali believes that Roxas deserves to be the next president he did something that resulted in economic growth and jobs: developing the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.
Umali noted that it was Roxas who, as secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry in 2000, jumpstarted the BPO industry by broadening tax incentives to attract call center investors and initiating the creation of the Call Center Association of the Philippines to ensure its growth.
Umali noted that Roxas also launched the “Make IT Philippines” project and organized the first IT-enabled services road show to the United States which drew the biggest global industry names to invest in the country.