JUDY Araneta Roxas, the mother of Interior Secretary Mar Roxas 2nd, has started wooing lawmakers to support her son, the standard–bearer of the Liberal Party (LP) in next year’s polls.
Araneta will meet the wives and husbands of members of the House of Representatives over lunch on Wednesday in San Juan City, officials said.
Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, president of the Congressional Spouses Foundation, Inc. (CSFI), confirmed to The Manila Times that Judy invited their members to a “simple” lunch meeting at the Gloria Maris restaurant in Greenhills.
“I assume of course it is her way of helping with Sec. Mar’s candidacy, though all members are invited, not just those who are with the LP, and it is just a simple gathering,” Belmonte, daughter of Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., said.
But for Batangas Rep. Mark Leandro Mendoza, the meeting could be part of an “all out Mar” campaign that targets even non-profit, charitable and nonpolitical groups like the CSFI.
“Mukhang wala nang hiya-hiya. (It looks like they are not shy anymore.) It appears that nothing will be spared in their efforts to get Mar elected. Kahit ang di dapat pinupulitika, pinupulitika. (Even what should not be politicized is being politicized),” the lawmaker said
The CSFI is a non-stock, non-profit foundation composed of the wives and husbands of incumbent congressmen. The group provides scholarships to deserving students, spearheads livelihood programs, and aids charitable institutions involved in women and child care.
“These are acts of desperation. The CSFI is traditionally non-partisan and non-political because it is supposed to be a venue where its members can work together without regard for the political affiliations of their spouses. Unfortunately, Mrs. Roxas has pulled all the stops to get her son elected. This is a Mar-for-president train that has no brakes, ethical or otherwise,” Mendoza said.
But Belmonte clarified that the gathering was arranged by Mrs. Roxas because she “wants to get to know the younger and newer members.”
She added that Mrs. Roxas, scion of the wealthy Araneta clan, used to be a member of the CSFI.
“She was once a member of this organization, as the representative of Secretary Mar when he was still a congressman and not yet married to Korina (Sanchez),” Belmonte explained.
“So the previous members are still her friends,” she pointed out.
After being “anointed” by President Benigno Aquino 3rd, the younger Roxas announced that he would “lay everything on the floor” for the presidential derby. It was also in Gloria Maris where members and supporters of the Liberal Party gathered for a “show of force” last week.
It was reported that as early as June, Budget Secretary and Liberal Party stalwart Florencio “Butch” Abad admitted that Aquino had “given the party the go signal to the extent that we all can support his [Roxas] candidacy.”
Roxas’ political advertisements now flood the airwaves and members of the party have started going around to convince people to back Roxas, who has lagged in presidential surveys behind Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay.