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Drilon: Mar Roxas is LP's bet in 2016 presidential polls

January 30, 2013 10:59am

(Updated 4:30 p.m.) The next presidential elections may be three years away, but this early, the ruling Liberal Party has already announced that Interior Secretary Mar Roxas will be the party's standard bearer in 2016.
 
In an interview aired over ANC Tuesday night, Senator Franklin Drilon, LP campaign manager and vice chair, was asked on who the LP will field against Vice President Jejomar Binay, who will probably be the standard bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in 2016.
 
Promptly, Drilon replied: "Mar Roxas...itaga mo sa bato." 
 
In an interview with reporters on Wednesday, Drilon said the choice of Roxas was "the consensus in the party."
 
"In so far as the LP is concerned, [and[ in so far as I am concerned, we believe that he is best qualified for 2016," he said.

Drilon said they are preparing for Roxas' candidacy by "following the matuwid na daan."
 
"Because it is all about good governance. That is the advocacy of LP which the President is the chairman," Drilon said.

Surprised

In a text message to GMA News Online, Roxas said he was "surprised" at Drilon's announcement.
 
"Maaaring plano o projection po niya yan. Subalit di ko po naiisip yan, nakatutok ako sa trabaho kong labanan ang kriminalidad. Wala sa radar o pag-iisip ko yan," he said.

Drilon said they "perfectly understand" Roxas' reaction.
 
"I do not know exactly what is in his mind but he said he has not yet decided and I assume he has not yet decided because he wants to concentrate on his job as DILG [chief] and doesn't want his decisions to be influenced by 2016 at this point," he said.
 
In a separate text message, Binay's spokesperson Joey Salgado said they "welcome" the statement of Drilon.
 
"He is after all, the LP campaign manager and speaks with authority on political matters," Salgado told GMA news Online.
 
Roxas was supposed to run for president in the 2010 elections but he gave way to then-Senator Benigno Aquino III's candidacy.
 
Roxas then sought the vice presidency, but lost to Binay. In July 2010, he filed an electoral protest against Binay, which is still pending before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

After the one year ban on appointing losing candidates to a government post, Roxas was named Transportation chief. 
 
After the death of Interior Sec. Jesse Robredo in August last year, Roxas was named as Robredo's replacement. Roxas' post at the DOTC was given to then-Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya. 

Aquino is LP chairman while Roxas sits as LP president. Kimberly Jane Tan/RSJ, GMA News
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