Roxas’ biggest rival? People’s frustration
Alexis Romero (The Philippine Star) - February 5, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Who poses the most serious threat to the presidential bid of Liberal Party’s Manuel Roxas II?

For Roxas, who is lagging behind in surveys, it’s not a matter of who but what.

“Our rival is the frustration of the people because we have a good performance and have helped a lot of people. But some people are still waiting for help. Some are still waiting for the straight path to reach them,” Roxas told dzBB anchor Mike Enriquez yesterday when asked who he thinks is his strongest rival in the elections in May. 

Roxas admitted that some poor households are not yet covered by the conditional cash transfer or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), which provides cash assistance to poor families.

“If your neighbor is benefitting from 4Ps and you are not yet covered by it and both of you are poor, you will be frustrated. That’s why we will defend, promote and expand the 4Ps,” he explained.

Despite being the chosen successor of President Aquino, who has consistently enjoyed high trust and satisfaction ratings, Roxas still trails his rivals in voter preference polls.

LP’s standard-bearer ranked third in the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on presidential candidates, behind Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Grace Poe.

Roxas was picked by 21 percent of respondents, while Binay and Poe were chosen by 31 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte ranked fourth with 20 percent, while Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago had three percent.

Roxas does not appear to be worried about his low ratings.

“The elections will not be held today. The elections will be held in May, so we should be on top in May,” he said in Filipino.

Roxas: Duterte my No. 1 fan

As for Duterte, Roxas labeled the mayor as his “number one fan.”

“I thank him for that. I am the only one he sees,” Roxas added.

Their verbal tiff started after Roxas downplayed as a “myth” the claims that Davao City under Duterte was one of the most peaceful places in the country.

Duterte, who projects himself as a tough crime buster, retaliated by saying that Roxas is not a true graduate of Wharton School, the prestigious business school of the University of Pennsylvania. Duterte’s claim has been debunked by the university.

Duterte also accused Roxas of spreading rumors that he has cancer, and that Roxas had a breakdown during the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Roxas was the interior secretary when Yolanda battered the Visayas and left more than 6,300 persons dead.  

Roxas said Duterte was just hurling tirades instead of discussing his platform for the country. – With Danny Dangcalan

ACIRC BINAY AND POE DAVAO CITY DAVAO CITY MAYOR RODRIGO DUTERTE DUTERTE FOR ROXAS GRACE POE LIBERAL PARTY MANUEL ROXAS MIKE ENRIQUEZ ROXAS
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