‘Mar like guava, not enticing but delicious’

Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - December 8, 2015 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – To make it easier for voters to assess the qualifications of the country’s presidential candidates, an administration lawmaker yesterday compared them to fruits.

Laguna Rep. Dan Fernandez likened Liberal Party presidential candidate Manuel Roxas II to a bayabas (guava) that gives vitamins and minerals.

Fernandez told a gathering of local officials in Sta. Rosa, Laguna where Roxas was the guest of honor that a guava “does not look delicious or enticing. But if you bite into it, you will taste both its saltiness and sweetness. It’s then you’ll experience the deliciousness of the guava,” he said.

“You’ll see an apple, that’s very beautiful and comes from America, there’s grapes from Makati and there’s durian that comes from Davao,” Fernandez said.

The Roxas ally was apparently referring to independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe who is facing questions over her citizenship, Vice President Jejomar Binay who is former mayor of Makati and Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City, famous for durian.

He joked that grapes usually have dark skin.

Fernandez said when one eats durian, one gets “heated up,” alluding to Duterte’s reputation for being hot-tempered.

The lawmaker, however, did not make any fruity comparisons for Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and OFW Family party-list Rep. Roy Señeres, who are also running for president.

Roxas, who is being packaged as a silent but substantial candidate by his handlers, thanked Fernandez for his speech.

“I’ve been in public service for a long time and I’ve been introduced many times in public events, I really feel that you love me,” Roxas said.

Malacañang downplayed yesterday insinuations that the endorsement of Roxas by President Aquino has no more value, saying the Chief Executive still believes the administration bet will emerge victorious in the May 2016 presidential polls.

“The President believes that when our bosses – the Filipino people – cast their votes, they would decide in favor of continuing the reforms that would ensure the long-term progress of our country,” Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a statement.

“The government constantly endeavors to improve on the delivery of public services and respond to the priority needs of our people,” he added.

In effect, Coloma said Aquino could not be compared to his predecessor, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose endorsement was considered a kiss of death, resulting to the defeat of then administration candidate Gilbert Teodoro in the May 2010 presidential elections.

At the same time, Malacañang thanked Filipinos for the success of Aquino’s government.

“We appreciate the feedback from our bosses as this provides us with the impetus to pursue with even greater determination the attainment of priority social reform and development programs in the remaining seven months of the administration,” Coloma said.

“We note that even among those who are deferring their final judgment, a large number are expressing satisfaction with the President’s performance,” he said. – With Delon Porcalla

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