Liberal Party (LP) presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd is playing catch up with his rivals because he has been battling a five-year black propaganda, his camp claimed Tuesday.
Akbayan Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez, spokesman of the administration
coalition, made the statement after the Social Weather Stations survey showed that Roxas continues to trail his rivals, Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay.
“Everybody knows that Secretary Mar will be running for President.
He was supposed to go for the Presidency as early as 2010. Since everybody anticipated that he is running, he has been the target of a very well-organized, well-orchestrated series of attacks before the public,” Gutierrez said.
After he lost the vice presidential race to Binay in 2010, Roxas served as the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications, then later as Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
He has been criticized largely because of the slow government response when Typhoon Yolanda devastated the Visayas in 2013, killing around 6,000 people and damaging billions worth of properties.
Roxas was the DILG chief when Yolanda struck.
“Definitely, it will take time for us to overcome the negative
perception created over the years of throwing potshots. Remember, this is a person who has been before the public eye for so long and has long been a contender for the presidency,” Gutierrez pointed out.
“Secretary Roxas might not be the most exciting candidate, but he is the most reliable and the most qualified. The fact that his numbers are rising tells us that our messaging is being effective,” he said.
“In fact, we are the most consistent in terms of rising numbers. We started at four percent, now we are a shade below 20. Yes, the rise
has not been huge, but I’d rather have a slow and steady increase rather than the erratic [survey]performance of other candidates,” Gutierrez added.