MANILA, Philippines - The most anticipated wedding of the year is still on.
Sen. Manuel Roxas II said yesterday he was looking forward to his wedding to broadcast journalist Korina Sanchez on Oct. 23 as he continued to work on the slate of the Liberal Party with Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III now the likely standard-bearer instead of him.
“Siyempre naman. Ang pulitika, pulitika. Iba ang puso (Of course, politics is politics. The heart is different),” Roxas said when asked in an interview over GMA -7’s morning show, “Unang Hirit,” if his wedding next month was still on.
Roxas is aware that his upcoming wedding is being tied to his presidential plans because of Sanchez’s popularity.
In the 2004 senatorial elections, Sanchez was even considered his lucky charm when he emerged as number one.
Roxas said Sanchez assured him that she would stand by him no matter what.
“She told me I love you no matter what,” Roxas said after he quit the presidential race to give way to Aquino.
Sanchez, for her part, said in a radio interview over dzMM that they will now have more time to work on their wedding.
“I told him that I love him and now we can concentrate on the wedding. Hindi na masyado yung (There’s less) tension, hirap ng katawan at pag-iisip. Mar is a very decent man. Whatever is true to his heart is what I want for him. I don’t worry about him. I know he was very hurt at one point but no matter how much it hurt him, the decision was painful but swift. That is a leader,” she said.
Decision not easy
But Roxas admitted he and his family were hurting because of the difficult decision he made.
“Of course it’s not easy. We Korina, we talk not just as sweethearts but as husband and wife, which we will be in a few weeks. Of course it hurts, but as Korina said to me, ‘you do what is right, you do what is in your heart.’ And for me, that was the foremost consideration,” Roxas said.
He also clarified it was not definite yet whether he would be Aquino’s running mate or if he would run for re-election as senator since the first thing they’ve settled was the presidency and the party’s unity.
“We didn’t talk about that. There was no trading, no commitment. I told Noy, let’s not cheapen this with horse trading. We entered public service, so let’s think about what’s best for the country. Now after you have looked into yourself, whatever you decide, then let’s talk again,” Roxas said.
Roxas maintained he was at peace with his decision and that he could face his forebears and all those who trusted him knowing that he made a sacrifice for the sake of the nation.
“The interest of Mar Roxas was not foremost. Aand that’s probably what you saw in me, that’s why you trusted me,” Roxas said.
Roxas said his mother, Judy Araneta-Roxas, commended him after he announced his withdrawal
“Hindi mo matatanggal ‘yung You can’t remove the emotions: sadness, of coursethere’s disappointment, I’m just human. But when I came down the stage, I passed my mother and she said, ‘I am proud of you,’” Roxas said.
Mar wants to help Noynoy
Roxas added that he would help Aquino and would like him to win because he would like the “magic” of former President Corazon Aquino and what she fought for along with her husband, the late senator and national hero, Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. not to be lost.
He also maintained there was no tension between him and Aquino.
“We have a long history so so there’s o double-talk, no fake moves, we really had heart-to-heart talks,” Roxas said.
“I trust Noynoy, he just wants what’s best for the country. That’s also how I feel, so it was very easy for us to go to the bottom line. What do we want for the country? We set aside our personal situations. This isn’t easy for Noy either, to carry on the legacy of his parents,” Roxas said.
What about intrigues? Asked whether there were people inside the LP whose statements or moves hurt him and forced him to withdraw, Roxas stressed there were none.
“No, this was my decision. And as I said, we’re friends. We’re seatmates in the Senate. Our sisters were classmates. When we were growing up our fathers knew each other. We were together in marches, anti-Marcos, Cory-Cory, so there was no reason for us not to be honest with each other from the start. So our discussions were quick,” Roxas said.