ROXAS CITY -- Former Local Government secretary Manuel Roxas II is hoping that his fellow Negrenses will still support him in the May 2019 polls.
Roxas, who leads the opposition slate called Otso Diretso, is running for senator in the coming elections.
Few days before the start of the campaign period, the opposition kicked off their sortie here, the hometown of Roxas, on Thursday, January 10.
He was joined by Senator Bam Aquino, Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, Marawi civic leader Samira Gutoc, former solicitor-general Florin Hilbay, election lawyer Romy Macalintal, and former House deputy speaker Erin Tañada in the series of town hall meetings here.
Roxas and his group were welcomed by the Ilonggos during their visit here.
When asked how confident he is with the Ilonggo votes to boost his senatorial bid, Roxas said: “waay ko ga kumpiyansa (I don't give confidence). I'm not complacent."
Moreover, he is also hoping that his fellow Negrenses will still continue to support him even if most of the local officials have already jump shipped to the administration party.
Negros Occidental, one of the country’s vote-rich provinces, has more than 1.7 million registered voters. It is a known bailiwick of Roxas, as his mother, Judy Araneta-Roxas, is from Bago City.
In the 2016 presidential race, Roxas had an overwhelming win in Negros Occidental against his opponents including the eventual winner, President Rodrigo Duterte.
After Duterte assumed the presidency, the majority of the officials in the province led by Governor Alfredo Marañon Jr. and Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez took their oath as members of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas Ng Bayan, the administration party.
Roxas said he is keeping his "fingers crossed" that Negrenses will still support him in this election.
"I keep my fingers crossed. I'm hopeful they're still there," he said.
He said the Negrenses know him and how he works, as he assured them he will continue to give his support to Negros.
Roxas was instrumental in the creation of Negros Island Region, which was later abolished by Duterte.