By Joann Santiago
MANILA, Aug. 5 (PNA) — Naming Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II as the Liberal Party’s (LP) bet in the 2016 national polls is not based on personalities but on his ability to sustain the Aquino administration’s “Daang Matuwid” program.
This was stressed by Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda in a media briefing on Wednesday.
The Palace executive explained that next year’s election is “not about an individual” as pointed out by President Benigno S. Aquino III in his endorsement speech Friday last week.
“The President has already said in his endorsement speech that we will go out and explain to the people ‘daang matuwid,’ and people will be asking, ‘what will you do for me in 2016?’ And we’re telling them, we’re going to continue and even better,” Lacierda said.
In his endorsement speech, the Prsident dubbed Roxas as the “man of the hour” who has the capacity to lead the people, does not have other bosses but the masses, and has no other interest but to serve the country.
“Doon na po tayo sa siguradong itutuloy ang ‘Daang Matuwid,’ at ang paniniwala ko po ang taong ito ay walang iba kundi si Mar Roxas,” he said.
Before this announcement, the President met with Senators Grace Poe and Francis “Chiz” Escudero several times in a bid to include them in the administration’s ticket.
President Aquino earlier said he remains optimistic that they can still partner with Poe to strengthen LP’s bid to sustain the gains of the current administration.
He said they recognize the differences between the ruling party and the senators and admitted that “right now might not be the right moment to fully coalesce.”
“We are still hoping. We still want to have that very unified group that will preserve the coalition as much as possible that can ensure the victory of the agenda,” he added.
Asked why the President wants Poe to be in his team, Lacierda said the lady senator would be an important part of the administration’s ticket.
”The reason why we would like her to be our vice presidential candidate is, obviously, we see, the President believes that she’s an important cog in the ‘Daang Matuwid’ coalition,” he added. (PNA)