Maybe it is the fate of Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas that he will never become the president of the Philippines despite the illustrious name he carries.
But no one could deny that it was Roxas who made the most poignant, but selfless sacrifice, when he gave way to his party-mate Sen. Benigno Aquino (PNoy) to become the standard bearer of the Liberal Party (LP) in the 2010 presidential elections.
Although Roxas was groomed as LP’s presidential candidate, yet he understood the clamor of the people to have PNoy run instead for the presidency to pick up where his mother, Cory, had left off, with him relegated as PNoy’s running mate.
As the people wanted change after the disastrous Arroyo presidency, so did Roxas, and if PNoy was the better person to effect changes in responsible governance, who was he to go against the people’s wishes?
Unfortunately, Roxas lost the race against former Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay, who became Joseph Estradas’ running mate during the 2010 election. The rest, as they say, is history.
Now, Roxas is once more groomed by the LP as its presidential candidate in 2016 election and the man he is up against is no other than early-bird presidential candidate and incumbent Vice President Binay.
Going against Binay the second time around does not seem to improve Roxas’ odds of winning the presidency. That is just the reality. It is either Binay has done a great job and is the favorite of PNoy’s relatives or Roxas is doing an awful job as Interior Secretary and is being shunned by Aquino-Cojuangco clan, not to mention that he has a baggage in his wife, the outspoken Korina Sanchez.
But while Roxas is resigned to his fate, what worries him, and for a reason, is the fact that if Binay wins the presidency, all that PNoy has done for the country in gaining the respect and admiration of the world community in stumping corruption through his “tuwid na daan” (straight path) advocacy and moving the nation forward with his responsible governance and economic reforms will just come to naught.
In fact, what worries Roxas should also be a greater worry for the Filipinos because of the rampant corruption practices that Binay is being investigated today.
Unless the Filipino people change their perception of Binay, whose corrupt reputation, as alleged, is hard to swallow to become the nation’s leader, then we only have ourselves to blame if we find us deep down again in the rut.
For all intents and purposes it is safer and advantageous for the country and its people if, between Roxas and Binay, we have Roxas at the helm.
But then again, this scenario is only possible if Binay’s popularity continues to spiral downward in surveys simply because the Filipinos have had enough of him and no longer trust him.
Or we just have to pray hard that Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago licks for good her cancer and Santiago’s student supporters all over will trounce Binay for good.