MANILA — House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. challenged Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas on Tuesday to reveal early his political agenda for the 2016 presidential elections.
“I wouldn’t support a candidate that somebody else doing the talking for me, somebody else doing the decision for me. Mar should make the decision for himself. He cannot just say I’ll do what the president (President Aquino) says,” Belmonte told reporters in a press conference.
“We don’t like that kind of a president. The president should make up his own mind, assess his own chances, he has to do his work of advising leaders not only members of the Liberal Party (LP) but other leaders of non-partisan people,” he added.
Belmonte said Roxas needs to give up his job in the government after his announcement and also those presidential wannabes who are in the government to avoid suspicion that they are using the resources of the their office.
Roxas, in a recent interview vowed to quit his post as DILG head right after he announced his political agenda this month.
The DILG secretary is fully supported by his colleagues in the LP and just waiting for his formal announcement of his political plans.
Roxas slide down to vice presidential candidate in the 2010 elections giving way for President Benigno Aquino III to be the standard bearer of the party.
“At the end of the day, he (Roxas) has to win on the basis of all of his strength. I myself believed that he is the most preferred to be the next president,” Belmonte stressed.
“If the president okays Mar, thank you and if not, I have to stand on my own feet,” he added.
The House leadership said that Mar should double time his effort if he wants to win and forget first the survey and make this as guidelines as he must concentrate on how he can overcome his weaknesses and strengthen further where he is strong.
“After all, Binay started with five percent in the past. During those days, Mar Roxas and Sen. Loren Legarda were busy slugging each other and somebody sleep-in between them unnoticed without a single charge of any kind against him until a few weeks before the elections that’s why anything can happened,” he said when asked if Mar should be bothered by latest surveys on his standing.
According to Belmonte, the anointment of President Aquino should be considered as an “added plus” to his political career but he should stand on himself.
He added that if people notice that he can stand on his belief, surveys might go in his favor which will eventually open his chances to get his passport to the Palace.