Tag Archives: Mar Roxas
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — Of the four speakers representing four Philippine presidential candidates, businesswoman Loida Nicolas-Lewis emerged as the most applauded during the “Know Your Candidates” forum on the Philippine Presidential Elections at the Kalayaan Hall of the Consulate General of the Philippines March 30.
Nicolas-Lewis insisted that “as congressman and senator, Mar Roxas has had no record of corruption whatsoever. And believe me. It is so easy to ask for cash-sunduan and commission when one is in power.”
She added: “Mar Roxas has a track record of success in his 22 years of public service as cabinet secretary to three presidents–Erap, GMA and P-noy.”
Nicolas-Lewis said “Roxas is an experienced executive who can deal with the presidents of the United States, France, Germany, and other big countries; he has inborn integrity and loyalty to the Philippines and to the people.”
“Of the four speakers, Loida presented the most candid and most substantive argument why her bet should be the next president of the Philippines,” commented Lourdes Constantino-Penn, 70, a Fil-Am businesswoman, who attended the two-hour forum presented by the Filipino American Press Club of New York, Inc. and the Consulate General of the Philippines headed by Ambassador Mario Lopez de Leon Jr.
Nicolas-Lewis, chair of the US Filipinos for Good Governance, represented Mar Roxas of the Liberal Party.
“Loida ably represented Roxas with her brilliant explanation of the administration candidate’s plans of revitalizing agriculture and sustaining economic growth,” observed Jonji Jalandoni, past president of the Philippine Independence Day Council Inc. (PIDCI).
The second most applauded speaker was Sani Guillena, who represented Rodrigo Duterte of PDP Laban.
Guillena, coordinator of GoDuterteUSA/NY, spoke passionately on the need to elect an iron-fisted leader like the Davao City mayor who vowed to eliminate graft and corruption and criminality.
“Mayor Duterte is both the medium and the message and he is the only candidate who lives a modest life and who leads by example,” Guillena, former editor and publisher of Peryodiko Mindanao Scholar, asserted.
Los Angeles-based speaker Art Garcia, a former scholar of Mar’s father, the late Sen. Manuel Roxas, explained why he ditched Mar for Grace Poe.
“I campaigned for President Benigno Noynoy Aquino Jr. and I used to support Mar Roxas, but when I learned that Grace Poe would run for president, I decided to go for Grace. I know her father, Fernando Poe Jr., a courageous man who went against Marcos during Martial Law,” explained Garcia, lead convenor of the Grace Poe for President Movement in L.A.
Garcia described Poe as “an intelligent and sincere woman who will reform and industrialize the Philippines.”
Jesse Arteche, the first speaker to give a statement and a “brother” of Vice President Jejomar Binay in the Alpha Phi Omega, lamented that “Binay is a victim of black propaganda ever since he decalred that he would run for president.”
“Only the court can delcare that he is guilty of graft and corruption. All the accusations against him in the senate are black propaganda. If the senators believe that Binay is guilty they should have brought the case against the vice president in court,” said Arteche, who calls Binay “Brod VP”.
Binay is the most qualified to become the next president, insisted Arteche.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago did not have a representative.
Ricky Rillera, president of the Filipino American Press Club of New York, Inc., moderated the forum.
“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Abraham Lincoln
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — Known for his flawless logic and lucidity of mind, the late Philippine Senator Claro M. Recto Jr. once argued that “if he was seen walking in the company of prostitutes, it didn’t follow that he was also a prostitute.”
His syllogism thrashed the “tell me who your friends are, and I will tell you who you are” dictum.
Illogical: Mar Roxas is a pervert because he was allegedly seen (he denied he saw the bawdy event) in the venue of a lewd show at the birthday bash of Liberal Party (LP) member, Rep. Benjie Agarao, in Laguna recently.
Logical: Not all those present were perverts (except, perhaps, the sponsor or sponsors of the indelicate show). Therefore Roxas, who attended the birthday party but “missed” the spicy episode, could not be a pervert since he was not the sponsor or directly involved when a sexy dancer gyrated scandalously on top of a male guest on stage.
There is a principle in law that says a mere presence in the crime scene does not make one a criminal–except if he is a direct accessory to the unlawful activity.
But since Roxas is a presidential aspirant and it is a political season, every mistake his political party–or members of the political party will commit, will be considered as his albatross.
The political party’s moral standard also instantly became a serious issue as it will determine the kind of governance the party will introduce once they retain Malacanang beyond 2016.
Mar Roxas is guilty by association, his critics will argue.
Association with sponsor (was it Metro Manila Development Authority chair Francis Tolentino?) or sponsors of the lewd act or the LP? Both.
The sponsor or sponsors could also be LP members.
Not all Roman senators connived and stabbed Julius Caesar. Only those who had been mesmerized by Brutus and Cassius helped carry out the murder plot.
Mary Suratt swore before she was executed by hanging on July 7, 1865 in Washington D.C. that her only fault was that she owned the boarding house where murderers of Abraham Lincoln plotted the assassination that changed the course of American history.
Her plea fell on deaf ears.
Former Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello predicts a bad luck for the entire political party which, he said, could affect Roxas’ presidential bid.
It is not only a case of “tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are” but also a case of “with friends like them (sponsors of sexy show), who needs enemies?” the former solon lamented.
While we agree that the incident warrants a call for investigation on the conduct of government officials in violation Section 19 of the Magna Carta of Women (Republic Act 9710), we don’t believe that Roxas should be faulted and crucified only because he was probably “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”
Roxas may have “walked with the prostitutes, but it did not mean that he was also a prostitute.”
“The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown.” H. P. Lovecraft
By Alex P. Vidal
NEW YORK CITY — A prejudice against homosexuals is called homophobia.
The word is a blend of the word homosexual, a mix of neo-classical morphemes, and phobia, which derives from the Greek word Phobos, meaning “fear” or “morbid fear”.
Thus fear of heights is called acrophobia; fear of spider, arachnophobia; fear of wild animals agrizoophobia; fear of darkness, achluophobia.
Fear of pain, agliophobia; fear of fire, arsonphobia; fear of floods, antlophobia; fear of flying, aviatophobia; fear of imperfection, atelophobia, and so on and so forth.
Some Filipinos fear that if Mar Roxas will be elected as next president of the Philippines in 2016, his wife, Korina Sanchez “could be the next or even worse than Imelda Marcos.”
Because of their disdain for Korina, they won’t vote for the Liberal Party’s standard bearer; not because Roxas is incompetent, corrupt or a dictator. But because he is the husband of Korina period.
In other words, Roxas, one of the most qualified presidential wanna-bes, could lose some votes or kiss his presidential ambition goodbye because of Korinaphobia.
Is it a fear of the unknown? A misplaced fear? A prejudice view from Korina bashers?
How and where did the “fear of Korina Sanchez” originate?
Aside from the negative allusions to her past and private pecadillos, critics think she had a misfortune of carrying a mestiza face that radiates a contrabida aura.
Of course it’s not her fault why she was born a mestiza.
Her fault is that, by a stroke of luck, she could be the next first lady; and her detractors dread the day seeing her becoming an Evita Peron and, oh yes, Imeldific! Marie Antoinette? Lady Chatterley?
If we look back at history, Filipinos, who struggled to regain their cultural heritage and identity against abusive foreign colonizers, have always had misgivings with mestizas or “maldita”-looking women and viewed them as symbols of arrogance, oppression, squander and profligacy.
Thus they look down at them with utmost contempt and insolence.
This also explains why the likes of native-skinned, Nora Aunor, and “morena” beauty, Alma Moreno, are penciled-in for any elective position, aside from their staggering popularity in the soap opera showbiz world.
Would Mar Roxas be elected president overwhelmingly if his wife were Nora Aunor?
“To be prepared for war is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.” George Washington
By Alex P. Vidal
Is it unsafe to do business or run for public office in Roxas City or in Capiz Province if one is associated or identified with the country’s most controversial politician, Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay?
Or is it a scourge for any Capiznon to be a friend of Binay?
Roxas City and Capiz Province are known bailiwicks of DILG boss Mar Roxas, who was bundled out by Binay in the previous vice presidential contest.
It appears the two political behemoths are heading for a rematch in 2016, this time for the presidency of the land.
Thus Roxas and his subalterns probably become increasingly jealous politically each time Binay, otherwise known as “Rambotete” (a calumny for the diminutive former Makati mayor who carried an Uzi machine gun ala “Ramboo” with a protruding tummy at the height of coup d’etat during the administration of the late President Cory Aquino), is seen hobnobbing with Capiz businessmen and political leaders.
With the national elections fast approaching, Binay’s Capiz friends, even in the business sector, are starting to feel the heat.
We missed by the skin of the teeth the press conference called by businessman Joaquin ”Toto” Dumagpi at the Kapis Mansions last September 25 in Roxas City, Capiz.
We were with visiting Chicago-based balikbayan couple Rufino and Aurea Canong, retired Army Maj. Lyle Tugbang and wife Baby, and Roberto “Bob” De la Cruz.
The Canong husband and wife are friends of
Dumagpi, president and chief executive officer of the Roxas City-based Kapis Development Corp. (KDC), from way back in the 90’s in the United States.
Dumagpi was protesting the apparent “delaying tactics” employed by the City Hall’s licensing division in the processing of Kapis Mansions’ business permit.
The businessman lamented that his establishment’s business permit has not been released since they first applied for renewal in January this year.
The delay has incurred Kapis Mansions millions of pesos in losses as the hotel was supposed to host the national convention of the Department of Health (DOH).
Without a business permit, the hotel cannot make a transaction with government agencies like the DOH.
Dumagpi said Carmen Andrade, city government consultant on economic affairs, wanted them to “add 15 percent” to their 2013 gross sales.
Dumagpi insisted his papers were in order and complete.
After a meeting with Dumagpi’s representative last Oct. 3, Andrade gave Kapis Mansions one week to fully declare its income or pay the city government in lieu of audit.
Dumagpi suspected that the pressure his establishment has been enduring from the city government could have something to do with his ties with Binay.
He admitted that Binay has been a regular guest at Kapis Mansions. This must have inconvenienced some characters allied with Secretary Roxas, he surmised.
incidentally, Binay has a not-so-pleasant relationship with Roxas City Mayor Alan Celino.
There was already a bad blood between the two even before Sec. Roxas became Binay’s political adversary.
During the presidential campaign in 2004, then Vice Mayor Celino had a violent verbal spat with Binay, who was campaigning for the late Fernando Poe Jr. against Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Binay protested the alleged shabby treatment Celino gave Susan Roces when she campaigned for FPJ in Roxas City.
Binay and Celino called each other names on national TV and their feud worsened when Celino challenged Binay to a fistfight after Binay allegedly called Celino “amo” (ape).
Was Dumagpi caught in the middle of all these political hullabaloos?
“He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.” Elbert Hubbard
By Alex P. Vidal
Nanay Dionisia summoned all the saints in heaven and cursed anyone who hurt or insulted Manny Pacquiao to show her “deep love” for a son.
Each time the popular boxer was caught in a web of scandals, nanay Dionisia was always there to pick up the cudgels and carry the bolo to defend her son.
When Capiz Rep. Gerry Roxas Jr., popularly known as Dinggoy, was still alive, her socialite mother, Mrs. Judy Araneta-Roxas, never allowed any detractor to besmirch Dinggoy’s reputation. Our friend, Boggie Gonzalez, said he defended Dinggoy from media attacks and risked his life for the country’s youngest congressman “because that was what Inday Judy wanted me to do.”
Gonzalez challenged airport cops who allegedly found marijuana leaves in Rep. Dinggoy Roxas’ possession to a duel. “They framed him up,” Gonzalez bewailed. “Congressman Dinggoy is not a drug addict.” The duel did not materialize and the incident “died a natural death.” No case was filed against Rep. Dinggoy Roxas, who died of colon cancer on April 15, 1993, at 32.
He was replaced in congress by older brother, Mar, who became a senator after a stint as secretary of the Department of Trade and Industry.
Now the DILG secretary, no doubt the most recent media blitzkrieg portraying Mar Roxas as a bully and arrogant public official, has caused a dent on his quest for presidency of the country in 2016, in one way or the other.
The Wack Wack golf club brouhaha had been played up in tri-media, including the internet, with much frenzy and magnitude of a sex scandal involving a religious preacher.
Although most versions of the story corroborated with what really happened when Roxas allegedly lost his cool and badmouthed the staff of the exclusive golf club, Roxas caught himself in a very tragic circumstance for being a politician and a future presidential timber.
Faced with a tidal wave of criticism left and right, Mar Roxas was forced to apologize. As of this writing, he was still reportedly nursing from the backlash of his unsavory behavior.
The news shocked Capiznons and friends of the Roxas family, who have known Mar Roxas to be “soft-spoken” and “somebody who always runs away from unnecessary trouble.”
They were particularly more startled when mommy Judy hasn’t come forward to at least defend her embattled son, which she usually did in the past, especially when critics called the late Rep. Dinggoy a “drug addict.”
Even when media rapped Mar Roxas for the government’s “delay” in the response to help victims of “Yolanda” super-typhoon in November 2013, mommy Judy did not issue any terse statement to belie the accusations against her son.
People in Capiz and all their supporters in Western Visayas, for that matter, have been waiting for Mrs. Judy Araneta-Roxas to come to her son’s rescue. The matriarch of the Roxas family is still considered until today as one of the most powerful and influential mothers in Philippine politics, having been wounded in the 1971 Plaza Miranda bombing along with husband, the late Senator Gerardo.
In all the scandals and troubles that Mar Roxas had been involved with under the present administration, mommy Judy has not been heard of and nowhere to be found. Is she not happy with her son’s performance?
Was she not satisfied when her family’s dreams for Mar Roxas to become president was not realized after he paved the way for fellow Liberal Party stalwart Noynoy Aquino? Or has she relinquished the role to defend Mar to daughter-in-law, Korina Sanchez, and isn’t anymore inclined to tolerate a spoiled brat?
Whatever was the reason for her cold participation in all the controversies that bedeviled Mar Roxas recently, the silence of Mrs. Judy Araneta-Roxas is deafening.