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Are Filipinos Ready For Mar Roxas?

January 12, 2009


This writer has personally known Manuel Roxas III since 2001 having  worked with his media unit at the Department of Trade and Industry and has occasion to work on his press messages in connection with such concerns then as the National Steel Corporation and the WTO regional discussions on tariff with regard to medicine.

Outside of government, we have since met only occasionally given my older friendship with Korina Sanchez in the news department of the old Maharlika Broadcasting System (now NBN) headed then by recently retired Maynilad Water spokesman Jess Matubis.

So I’ve seen Senator Mar at work up close as part of the Executive Department, and from a distance as legislator, and privately as  likely husband of the lady I first met as an aspiring TV newscaster still studying at Maryknoll College and is now one of the Philippines’ most popular broadcaster journalists.

I am recalling this given Mar’s recent news-making pronouncements: his announced intention to run for president in 2010, and the expletive he spewed oyt during the recent anti- charter change interfaith rally.

I was also at last week’s more than 2-hour encounter invited bloggers had with him with the event at the ‘club house’ called Balai Ni Mar in Cubao’s Araneta Center.

The invite came from an old colleague, former press undersecretary Bobby Capco, whose calling card now identifies him as Mar’s communication director.

My take on the session:

The putative presidential candidate displayed ‘measured candidness’ and a good a fingertip-ready response to questions on economic and political question as should be expected from anyone gunning for the land’s top elective post.

While it was the senator’s second encounter with Filipino bloggers, last Friday’s post-dinner informal Q & A consisted of more probing questions with Mar displaying good humor for the most part even though the questions from left field more often speculative if not polemical.

But the surefootedness if not conviction that Mar projected gave this writer a hint of the following:
•    He’ll tangle with the Catholic Church on the reproductive health issue and on population control
•    He will be open to continue peace talks with Moro rebels but will draw the line on any attempt to dismember the Republic.
•    The Constitution will be inviolable even under martial law situation.
•    GMA should stand trial for alleged crimes.
•    The possible grant of pardon to GMA if she is convicted will be addressed only if and when the question materializes.

So is Manuel A. Roxas ready to run for president? Yes.

Should Filipinos vote for him?

We must each define our what we want our next president to be and try hard, very hard to make informed decisions while also becoming the change we want our country, and our leaders, to be.


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