“My willingness to make sacrifices has already been tested” –Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas.
No, Mar Roxas wasn’t talking about his life as husband of television host Korina Sanchez. Banish that from your thought, you mischievous you. After all, Korina, together with his mother Judy Araneta Roxas, has been his strongest campaigner.
Rather, he was referring to the possibility that he might give way to Sen. Grace Llamanzares Poe as standard bearer of the administration party in the 2010 presidential election. On this, he talks with sincerity (not bitterness, you mischievous you) for he had already done a similar sacrifice – in 2010 when he yielded the presidential nomination of the Liberal Party to then Sen. Benigno S. Aquino 3rd and ran instead for vice president.
Now, Mar’s the presumptive presidential candidate of the LP but even that is now up in the air with BS Aquino The Last evidently courting Poe. (Certainly, the President prefers “courting” her than the voluptuous Japanese actress Maria Ozawa, right Pareng Bert de Guzman of Balita?) I can feel the pain of a person sacrificing his personal ambition in favor of another, only for that person to ignore that sacrifice later.
The personal sacrifice of Mar Roxas will become more painful if reports are true that BS Aquino The Last wants him to go around the country with Poe AND Sen. Chiz Escudero. The wounds of the 2010 election battle haven’t healed yet so it would be very inconsiderate of the President to request Mar Roxas to barnstorm the country with the face of the group that supported Jojo Binay as vice president of Aquino.
I really don’t think Mar Roxas and Chiz Escudero would be sharing the same stage and attending the same political stage. Mar Roxas was among the shoo-ins in the 2013 senatorial election but he decided against running. He said he wanted to concentrate on his job as DILG secretary. I suspected, however, that the real reason was he didn’t want to be on the same stage with Chiz Escudero, one of the senatorial candidates of Team PNoy.
Perhaps, the President wanted only Mar Roxas and Poe to go around the country without Chiz. He shouldn’t expect Roxas to forget so easily Chiz’s role in his (Roxas’s) defeat in 2010. How can he when even he can’t forget even slights? The onion-skinned president dislikes criticisms, saying his critics were only “kulang sa pansin.” He can easily disregard decades-old friendship if that former friend bares his inadequacies and pretentious knowledge. He should demand of Mar Roxas only what he can do himself.
A most promising start
In 1996, on the tenth anniversary of The Philippine STAR, the late Mrs. Betty Go-Belmonte asked me to pick the ten most promising young congressman. (Yes, Mrs. Belmonte had such trust and confidence in me. She even asked me several times to pick the most outstanding congressmen.) Among those I had chosen were Reps. Michael Defensor of Quezon City, Hernani Braganza of Pangasinan, Renato Diaz of Nueva Ecija, and Mar Roxas of Capiz. On that year, the 10th Congress was barely a year old but Mar Roxas had already shown great promise.
Alas, many promises couldn’t be achieved. Mar Roxas became trade secretary and then topped the 2004 senatorial elections, giving him the mojo to aspire for the presidency in 2010. His being a Senate topnotcher, however, didn’t help him at all however, and he languished in the surveys. After his 2010 defeat, he was again aiming for Malacanang but the promise he had shown as a neophyte congressman was no longer appreciated nationwide.
Such was also the case of Oscar Orbos of Pangasinan who made a meteoric rise from congressman of Pangasinan to transportation secretary and executive secretary. Now, he’s rarely seen and heard. (After the first session of the Eighth Congress, Mrs. Belmonte assigned me to name the two most innovative members of Congress and I picked Orbos and the late Sen. Raul S. Roco). Orbos should have been a very great plus to the nation, especially the Senate, had he remained the apple of the nation’s eye.
But I digress. Going back to Mar Roxas, he humbled himself when he accepted without any protest his being ignored by BS Aquino in the planning of the ill-starred operation to nab two international terrorists in Mamasapano. He made another sacrifice in swallowing his pride so as not to give added trouble to the Malacanang tenant.
Now, he says he’s willing to sacrifice more. Indeed, how much sacrifices can this man endure? And all for nothing?