Mar Roxas joins President Marcos during rice distribution in Capiz

Helen Flores, Jennifer Rendon - The Philippine Star
Mar Roxas joins President Marcos during rice distribution in Capiz
President Marcos chats with former senator Mar Roxas, whom he described as a ‘longtime friend,’ before speaking in a rice distribution activity in Capiz yesterday October, 5 2023.

MANILA, Philippines — President Marcos led a rice distribution event in Capiz yesterday with “longtime friend,” opposition Liberal Party stalwart and former senator Mar Roxas, triggering speculation about the latter’s possible return to public service under the current administration.

“Maybe you’re not aware, Mar and I have been friends for a long time even though we sometimes disagree on politics,” Marcos said in Filipino.

“We spent a long time together in New York and I hope that while he’s here, he doesn’t talk about what happened anymore to us when we were in New York because we were still bachelors and we had many adventures together,” the President said in jest.

“That’s why I’m happy. I haven’t talked to him in a long time and it’s good we have a chance to talk here in Capiz,” Marcos said.

Roxas is a second cousin of First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos.

Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil said Roxas, who hails from Capiz, was invited by local officials to join the rice distribution.

Former representative of the 1st District of Capiz, Roxas is a partymate of Marcos’ political opponent, former vice president Leni Robredo in the Liberal Party. The LP served as a vocal opposition party to the dictatorship of Marcos’ late father and namesake.

He also served as interior secretary under the administration of the late president Benigno Aquino III, son of the late senator Benigno Aquino Jr., arch critic of Marcos Sr.

Roxas’ late father Gerardo Roxas, a former senator, was also a critic of the late strongman.

In July, Marcos’ son, Ilocos Norte Rep. Sandro Marcos, denied rumors that Roxas would be tapped as full-time Department of Agriculture secretary, a position long held by the President in concurrent capacity.

The 25-kilo bags of rice distributed by the President to beneficiaries of the government’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program in Capiz, Antique and Aklan yesterday were part of the 42,180 sacks of rice seized by the Bureau of Customs in Zamboanga City.

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