NAGA CITY, Cebu – Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II expressed confidence on Friday that Cebuanos would vote for him instead of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte because people would want a leader who has concrete plans in developing the economy rather than someone whose advice to businessmen is to pay revolutionary tax to the new People’s Army (NPA).
“The people of Cebu have experienced and felt firsthand the benefits of the Daang Matuwid programs, which included 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program) and PhilHealth, among others. Nagtitiwala ako na marunong kumilatis ang mga Cebuano at makikita nila kung ano ang mabuti para sa kaunlaran, para sa bukas nila at kanilang mga anak,” he said.
Besides a clear platform of governance, the administration bet also noted the long and unflagging support of Cebuanos to clean and honest governance.
“Mahaba na ang pagsasama ng mga Cebuano sa tuwid at tapat na pamamahala. In 1986, Cebuanos were among the principal supporters for the President Corazon Aquino. In 2010, Cebuanos were again with us and I am optimistic that they will be with us still in the coming elections. Matibay na kasama ang mga Cebuano sa tapat, at malinis na pamamahala,” Roxas said.
Roxas, who took his presidential campaign to the province of Cebu for the second time Friday, made the statement after administration stalwarts foresee a tossup between him and Duterte when Cebuanos go to the polls on May 9.
Based on data from the Commission on Elections, Cebu is the most vote-rich province in the country with 2.7 million registered voters for the May 2016 national and local elections.
Roxas likewise downplayed the alliances Duterte had made in the province and said that his rival’s allies in Cebu were mostly “discredited politicians.”
Duterte recently secured the endorsement of One Cebu, the provincial party controlled by the Garcia family.
It is fielding former GSIS president and general manager Winston Garcia for the gubernatorial post against LP incumbent Governor Hilario Davide Jr.
On the other hand, Senator Grace Poe’s candidacy is being supported by the Duranos.
Roxas himself has the support of the Gullas family besides the Davides.
Nonetheless, Roxas said that Cebuanos would choose the one who knows how to improve the economy, something that he had already accomplished.
“Sa kabuuang Cebu nakikita nila ang pag-usbong ng mga ecozones, ng mga trabaho dito. Mga Cebuano mismo ang nakaka-alam na tayo ang naghatid ng call centers, mga BPO,” he said as he noted that Cebu is now the 7th largest city in the world in terms of the number of BPOs and call center agents.
He pointed out that Cebuanos are questioning how Digong could improve the economy when his rival’s advice to businessmen is to pay taxes to the NPA who are in fact out to destroy our economy.
“Yan ang kaibahan ni Mar Roxas kay Digong Duterte. Ako ay para sa tama, tayo ay para sa maunlad na ekonomiya at may napatunayan na tayo, hindi yung mga teorya lang,” he said.
“Para sa akin, malinaw kung saan natin dadalhin ang ating ekonomiya, paano tayo lilikha ng trabaho para sa Cebuano. May plano tayo para sa kaunlaran ng mga Cebuano. Nagawa na natin ito dati at magagawa pa natin ito uli,” Roxas said.