Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, who in 2009 set his Malacañang ambitions aside to give way to then Sen. Benigno Aquino 3rd whose popularity soared after the death of his mother, continues to reap the “goodwill” he sowed.
Despite an almost stagnant performance in popularity surveys, Roxas remains on top of President Aquino’s shortlist on who he had in mind to succeed him when he bows out of office in 2016.
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Aquino said he was “surprised” to read reports that it is as if Roxas was not being considered to be the administration party’s standard-bearer in 2016.
The President went on to describe his Interior secretary as a “valuable member” of the Cabinet who has shown “quite a wide range of expertise” in different assignments.
“He has been a staunch leader of the party even during the days that we were in the opposition,” Aquino said.
He added that Roxas has also shown his “ability to sacrifice” when he agreed to slide down as Aquino’s running mate in the 2010 elections.
Roxas lost to Binay by a close margin. Binay got 14.6 million or 41.65 percent of the total number of votes cast as against Roxas who got 13.9 million or 39.58 percent. A far third was Sen. Loren Legarda who got 4.2 million votes.
The President said the Liberal Party will hold “consultations” to reach a “consensus” on who to field in next year’s polls.
He added that the announcement of his choice of possible successor will be made after the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in late July.