It’s taken him ten years, but losing Presidential candidate and now senatorial aspirant Mar Roxas has finally realized he needs to ditch the Liberal Party colors if he wants a chance at winning a national election. He gives the term slow a new meaning. Talk about lack of foresight!
Most rational people already saw what a pushover Roxas was when he agreed to give way to former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III to be the Liberal Party’s Presidential candidate in the 2010 Presidential Elections. As I wrote before numerous times, Roxas does not have conviction. He’s been campaigning for the Presidency for years and then Cory Aquino died. To be fair, her death did not just change the course of Roxas and BS Aquino’s lives, it changed the course of millions of Filipino lives especially those living in Tacloban City in Leyte province. The Filipino people’s misery did not end after Cory passed away. Her real legacy is evident in the people’s continued wretched existence.
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Endless tales of woes from members of the public expose the failures of two Aquino Presidents who promised to uplift the people from the supposed “evil” administrations that came before them. Roxas should have known better than to trust BS Aquino. He turned a blind eye to BS Aquino’s incompetence because it seems he was promised that he can run the country with “the chosen one” as the latter’s Vice President. The trouble is, one is not elected to the Vice Presidency automatically with the President in the Philippines so Roxas had to content himself with being a member of BS Aquino’s cabinet.
Unfortunately for Roxas, his stint as the Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) set his brand as a failure in stone. His performance when super typhoon Yolanda (international code name “Haiyan”) hit the Philippines in 2013 was pathetic and divisive. Videos of Roxas directing traffic in the middle of the chaos did not impress the public. It is still making the rounds on social media as proof of his idiocy. Everyone was wondering why he had to do it himself instead of delegating it. He wasn’t even doing a good job at being a traffic enforcer. He obviously just wanted to be seen as doing something during a disaster. Roxas has been dubbed as king of epal (epal is a slang Filipino term for grandstanding). The public will not forget how he argued and brought the then Mayor of Tacloban to tears when he met with local officials because he chose to politicize the disaster response instead of putting differences aside in the middle of a disaster.
Even BS Aquino himself did not trust Roxas’s competence. That was really something — an incompetent like BS Aquino not trusting Roxas. This was evident when he kept Roxas out of the loop during a covert operation dubbed Oplan Exodus January 2015 to capture Malaysian terrorist and bomb-maker Zulkifli Abdhir hiding in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. To be fair, it wasn’t just Roxas who was the head of the Philippine police force who was kept out of the loop, even the military was in the dark and was unable to respond in time to rescue the members of the elite Special Action Force (SAF) from the Philippine National Police when they were being slaughtered by the members of the terrorist groups Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). 44 members of the SAF lost their lives in this tragic incident. Too bad for Roxas a lot of people still hold him accountable even though he was not part of the fiasco because he was still protecting BS Aquino from public backlash — more proof that Roxas is a pushover. His loyalty was misplaced. Instead of speaking out and giving justice to the policemen who died, he was still protecting the image of BS Aquino and their political party.
Since losing the Presidential Elections in 2016, Roxas has led a relatively quiet civilian life up until announcing his candidacy a few months ago as a senator for the midterm elections in May 2019. His campaign started out as being part of the Otso Diretso coalition — the eight candidates being endorsed by the Liberal Party. However, reports of Roxas distancing himself from the Otso Diretso camp have recently emerged. The Inquirer reports that, according to Roxas’s campaign manager Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, “Roxas regretted wearing yellow and being so identified with Aquino in the 2016 presidential election”.
Erice also disclosed the Roxas campaign’s strategy of intentionally keeping himself apart from Otso Diretso and refusing to directly attack the President to avoid fallout.
Actress Kris Aquino was, as a result, compelled to defend her brother BS Aquino against Roxas’s implying that Aquino was to blame for his loss in the 2016 Presidential Elections.
The nagging question now is, if Roxas is not a true member of the Otso Diretso coalition, then why are the group called otso (eight) since there are only seven candidates in this group? His attempt at distancing himself from a losing team only proves once again that he lacks conviction and that he won’t hesitate to abandon ship.
So Roxas doesn’t want to run under the Yellow brand anymore and now Congressman and senatorial candidate Gary Alejano is saying Otso Diretso is not yellow. Less than a month before the elections, the once proud yellows are ditching the once mighty and now disgraced political color in a desperate attempt to win the public’s trust. Unfortunately for them, they will still lose due their obvious lack of integrity and credibility.
It’s hard to feel sorry for these Otso bozos. Yes, criticizing the losing candidates from the Otso Diretso camp is like kicking a horse when it is already down. But they don’t want to accept they are not going to win so we have to keep kicking.
In life, things are not always what they seem.