In an event that saw Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas and Manila City Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada sign a trust fund for informal settler families (ISF)’s homes to celebrate this year’s Urban Poor Solidarity Week, the latter had only kind words for Roxas.
The trust fund is pursuant to the General Appropriations Act of 2014, which provides for the construction of socialized housing for ISFs in Metro Manila, amounting to P334.5 million for the cities of Malabon, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Caloocan, Navotas and Manila to share. Roxas’ role, was simply to facilitate and, perhaps, fast track the planning and development of the project with the help of Estrada.
The Manila housing projects are expected to benefit 585 urban poor families.
“We are here to provide sturdy and safe houses for all those living in danger areas,” said Roxas.
Grateful for this upturn of event, Estrada lauded the good it does when national and local governments have an understanding and agreement on projects benefiting the poor. But, most of all Estrada had nothing but praises for Roxas – now and then.
It must be remembered that during Estrada’s presidency, Roxas was his trade secretary.
Estrada, in his speech, affirmed Roxas’ “unquestionable integrity” as a public servant. He even commended Roxas for pushing for e-commerce during his stint as trade chief, paving the way for the business process outsourcing boom in the country today.
Now pundits are speculating if these kind words of Estrada for Roxas, spoken at this time when there seems to be an undercurrent of disunity between Erap and Vice President Jejomar Binay on the latter’s aspiration for the 2016 presidency because of the entry of neophyte Senator Grace Poe into the picture, is a sign of shifting of allegiance?
Sen. Poe may have declined time and again from entering the 2016 presidential race for reasons that she what she is – a neophyte senator, and I believe she will keep her word, but nothing will prevent Poe from accepting the vice presidential position if it is offered to her.
With the presidential race practically a year and a half away still, and with Roxas not withdrawing yet despite his poor ranking in the survey, could there be resurgence of Roxas’ approval and trust rating if he teams up with Poe?
The better question is: Could Estrada’s support for a Roxas-Poe ticket revitalizes Roxas’ standing among the voters?
Note that Binay considered Erap as joking when the latter declared his preference for Poe, if she runs against Binay for president, citing that Poe is the daughter of his best friend, the late Fernando Poe Jr.
What would be the biggest joke is if there will be a Binay-Poe ticket.
But I don’t think Poe will get sucked to it, and neither will Erap allow it to happen.
Will there be a Roxas-Poe ticket because of Erap?
Conceivable – yes.
But everything hangs on President Aquino’s decision, in consultation with the Liberal Party (LP) hierarchy and its affiliate political coalition members.