Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur: Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Manuel ‘Mar’ Roxas downplayed the threat from partymate and Albay Gov. Joey Salceda who said that the province may pull out its support for Roxas because of delays in constructing the Bicol International Airport.
Roxas said that Salceda knows too well that the construction of the airport in Daraga has been continuous.
“If we go to Albay, you can see the construction of the airport. The access roads, the land side preparations…three fourths of those are done. That’s the truth so I am not scared [of losing support],” Roxas pointed out.
Albay has 742, 204 registered voters, but it is known as an indicator for the votes of the entire Bicol region including Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate which used to be part of Albay in the 1800s during the Spanish colonial period.
Roxas, his running mate and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, the 12-strong Senate slate of the administration and President Benigno Aquino 3rd barnstormed Salceda’s province two weeks ago.
Salceda shared the stage with Roxas during the grand rally in Legazpi, and even delivered a speech urging his constituents to vote for Roxas if they want to sustain the progress that Albay has made during the Aquino administration.
“Alam niyo po ako nagmamakaawa po sa inyo, ito ang mabuti para sa Albay. Ang mabuti ay inuulit-ulit; ang mabuti hindi sinasayang. Kaya ‘yan po ang hinihingi ko sa inyong lahat, dahil tayo ay nagkakaisa, na ituloy natin, kung mabuti ang Daang Matuwid, iboto si Mar Roxas dahil siya ang magtutuloy nito (I am begging all of you. This is good for Albay. Something good should not be wasted. That is why I am asking you to make this a continuity and vote for Mar Roxas because he will pursue the good projects for us),” Salceda told the crowd in Bicolano.
But if Salceda indeed defects from the Roxas camp, it would not be surprising because the governor’s support has been proven to be fragile, at least in one presidential election.
Formerly a stalwart of the ruling Lakas-CMD led by then President Gloria Arroyo, Salceda actively campaigned for the party’s presidential bet – ex-Defense Chief Gilberto Teodoro. But at the last minute, Salceda jumped ship and joined the Liberal Party, with then Sen. Benigno Aquino 3rd as its standard bearer.
Salceda earlier warned last week of the possibility that the province may dump Roxas for failure of the administration to finish the much trumpeted Bicol International Airport there.