ROXAS CITY, Capiz: Liberal Party presidential candidate Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd vowed to stop corruption if elected as President in May.
“Kinabukasan natin ang nakataya rito. Hindi basta-basta ang laban na ito. Hindi po tayo papatalo sa abusado, manloloko at magnanakaw [Our future is at stake here. This fight won’t be easy. We won’t be defeated by those who abuse power, those who trick and steal],” Roxas told his supporters who attended his initial campaign rally in his hometown on Tuesday.
He enumerated his platform — creating jobs, giving farmers and fisherfolk access to loans, increasing infrastructure spending, investing in post-harvest facilities, expanding PhilHealth coverage and continuing the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Program.
The CCT program is the Aquino administration’s flagship anti-poverty project that grants cash assistance to poor families.
“This is a fight worth fighting for. You can be confident that we will stand for and be with you in the push for good governance. Tayo ang sundalo ng daang matuwid [We are the soldiers of good governance],” Roxas said.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd and several Cabinet members attended the event.
Also present was Roxas’ running mate, Rep. Leni Robredo of Camarines Sur.
They were joined by the ruling party’s 12 senatorial candidates — Senators Franklin Drilon, Ralph Recto and Teofisto Guingona 3rd, Panfilo Lacson, Francis Pangilinan, Risa Hontiveros, Leila de Lima, Jericho Petilla, Mark Lapid, Joel Villanueva, Cresente Paez, and Nariman Ambolodto.
Aquino said the Roxas-Robredo tandem will ensure that the gains of his administration will not go to waste.
“Si Mar Roxas at si Leni Robredo ang magpapayabong ng ating mga ipinunla [Mar Roxas and Leni Robredo will build on our gains],” according to the President.
“Mahalaga pong masiguro na ang mga susunod na pinuno ay itutuloy ang daang matuwid. Isipin po ninyo, kung kabaligtaran nito ang isusulong ng papalit sa akin; kung epal, papogi, at pananatili lang sa kapangyarihan ang kanyang iniisip, sigurado po, masasayang lang ang lahat ng ating pinaghirapan at mababalewala ang mga pagkakataong bumubukas sa ating bansa [It’s important to ensure that the next leaders would continue the straight path. Imagine, if the complete opposite is pursued by my successor and if that successor is only driven by self-interest, earning brownie points and keeping oneself in power, all of our hard work would go to waste. Opportunities for our country would be squandered],” he said.
Aquino noted that Roxas has “competence, integrity and proven track record.”
He said that in the fight against crime, the administration’s standard-bearer, as Interior secretary, launched Oplan Lambat-Sibat, which slashed robbery and car thefts by 50 percent.
Aquino also recalled the times Roxas was criticized for being in the frontline during disasters.
“Mapakrisis man sa Zamboanga, lindol sa Cebu at Bohol, o noong bagyong Yolanda, mapabaha o sunog sa barangay, lagi siyang nasa frontline para sumaklolo at umalalay [Roxas was in the frontline, ready to assist the victims of disasters, whether it be the crisis in Zamboanga, the earthquake in Bohol, or Typhoon Yolanda],” he said.
“Sa kabila po nito, ang isinukli sa kanya ng mga kalaban, walang humpay na batikos at reklamo, para bang naging plataporma na nila ang hatakin siya pababa [Despite this, he still got flak and complaints. It’s like our critics have made it their platform to bring him down],” Aquino added.
As for Robredo, the President said the widow of Interior secretary Jesse Robredo was chosen as the administration’s vice presidential candidate not only because of her political affiliation but also because “her heart is in the right place and she is competent to lead.”