Mar Roxas does not care if people misinterpret his silence as victims of Typhoon Yolanda celebrated the second anniversary of the devastating November 8, 2013 super typhoon that killed more than 6,000 people in Eastern Visayas.
I can’t do anything if people does not accept silence as my own way of giving respect to the victims, said Roxas, who was also flogged by critics for boycotting events for the Yolanda tragedy.
Roxas as then Interior Secretary was in-charge of rehabilitation efforts in the aftermath of Yolanda that also rendered thousands homeless.
Roxas and President Benigno Aquino, two years after the tragedy, continue to get severe criticism from victims, Eastern Visayas political leaders and senators and congressmen including foreign aid donors, for allegedly mishandling the rehabilitation efforts.
Roxas, who has resigned his post to run as standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party in the 2016 elections, was a no show at the center of the celebration in Tacloban City in Leyte which suffered the most from Yolanda that also ripped though other Visayan islands.
Roxas, along with Aquino, skipped the ceremonies prepared for them by local leaders led by Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romuladez, who earlier slammed Roxas for mishandling his job as “Rehab czar.”
Aquino was reported to have opted to attend a wedding in Pasay City instead of responding to an invitation to attend the anniversary celebration.
Roxas was criticized for not commiserating with the grief of the victims by not giving a statement on the day of the commemoration.
Staying silent is my own way of giving respect, he said in a lame excuse to parry off the criticism.
He said he could not care if people would not accept his style of honoring the victims with silence.
“If they accept it, then it’s good. If they don’t, then I can’t do anything about it anymore,” said Roxas in a report in Kicker Daily.
Had Aquino and Roxas joined the Tacloban commemoration, they would have found themselves in an embarrassing situation of seeing protest rallies organized by victims assailing the slow flow of rehabilitation funds blamed on the government.
Roxas being skewered on the chopping block by critics over Yolanda is the second recent fatal assault on the LP presidential candidate already lagging poorly in pre-poll surveys behind front-runners Vice President Jejomar Binay of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) and independent bet Senator Grace Poe.
Last week, Roxas stirred a hornets’ nest among Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) when he said he was unfazed by the threat of Migrante, the group espousing rights of the 2.3-million strong overseas workers community, to launch a campaign to scuttle his presidential bid.
The threat came as Roxas said OFWs are to blame for their arrest for bringing bullets at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), where many OFWs have fallen victims to the “lag-lag bala” syndicate.
Oozing with confidence that Mar Roxas will eat dust in the 2016 presidential race, the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) said the Liberal Party standard bearer will have a place in the administration of “President Jejomar Binay.”
We will appoint Roxas as the head of the Department of Common Sense, said Mon Ilagan, spokesman of the UNA which is fielding Vice President Jejomar Binay in the race to Malacanang.
The militant farmers group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) has tagged Mar Roxas as a ‘landlord protector’ and would not be endorsing the standard bearer of the administration Liberal Party in the 2016 election.
The KMP bared this stand at a farmers’ assembly held recently at the University of the Philippines (UP) organized by the Philippine Land Reform Movement (PLRM).
The stand of the KMP against the ‘anti-farmer’ Roxas becomes part of the “Peasants Electoral Agenda for 2016” adopted by the assembly.
The agenda challenged presidential candidates to address, among others, the land problem, corruption of agricultural funds and human rights abuses against farmers.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte once again doused speculations that he will be the substitute candidate for the presidential bet fielded by the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
In an interview in Davao City, Duterte said he is getting tired of responding to speculations that he will eventually join the presidential race by beating the December 10 deadline to replace PDP-Laban bet Martin Diño.
Presidential candidate Mar Roxas is being swamped with a tsunami of barbs from all corners after being accused as behind a smear campaign against Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
The fireworks come even as Roxas denied being behind a journalist who spread on Facebook a false claim that Duterte has cancer.
As the barrage of attacks are fired without let-up against Roxas, the standard bearer of the administration Liberal Party, continues to pour heavily, the LP called as “silly” Duterte’s claim that Roxas was behind journalist Philip Lustre, who last month wrote in his Facebook account that Duterte is not running in the 2016 election due to throat cancer.
Duterte, who has said he is not running for President despite the strong public clamor for him to join the 2016 presidential derby, denied he has the ailment and tagged Roxas as behind Lustre.
For being a “dirty player,” Duterte has vowed to launch his counter-attack against Roxas and tell the public that the administration candidate is “not fit to be president.”
The LP said political opponents are ganging up on Roxas because they have no issues to throw at him.
There are no serious and valid issues against Roxas so they resort to anything as silly as rumor mongering, said Caloocan Rep. Edgardo Erice, LP political affairs chief.
In particular, Social media is being swamped with a flood of anti-Roxas commentaries despite Roxas coming out with a statement denying Duterte’s allegations he was behind the smear job.
Other candidates have joined the fray by pouring gasoline into the attacks on Roxas.
The camp of opposition candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay, standard bearer of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), unleashed its own barrage of fire.
The LP campaign is to smear its political enemies to conceal the fact that Roxas was unfit to lead the country, it said.
Joey Salgado, head of the Office of the Vice President media affairs, said that mudslinging and character assassination are the trademarks of the Roxas camp.
Salgado said that Roxas’ political operators were behind the year-long Senate Blue Ribbon subsub-committee investigation into the alleged anomalies in the construction of a Makati City Hall building when Binay was still mayor.
In an apparent bid to lure votes of Duterte supporters, Senator Bongbong Marcos, the vice president of Senator Miriam Santiago, and independent presidential candidate Senator Grace Poe said in television interviews that they suspect Roxas was behind the black propaganda against the popular Davao City mayor.