Espinoza: Praise for Secretary Roxas

PRESIDENT Noynoy Aquino’s last State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, despite criticisms from the government’s perpetual detractors and those that do not agree with him, provides a good guide for the next president of this 100 million-strong Filipino nation.

The President deferred the announcement of his anointed in the 2016 presidential polls. But his praises for Interior Secretary Mar Roxas made that obvious and it was said a little longer than the rest.

PNoy said, "Maraming galit sa iyo dahil talagang may ibubuga ka. Pursigido silang ibagsak ka. Palibhasa di nila kayang iangat ang kanilang sarili kaya pilit ka nilang binababa.” He added that the critics of Roxas are afraid of his integrity and competence.

"Mar, pinatutunayan mong you can't put a good man down," the President said. Roxas acknowledged it with a wry smile and waved to the cameras from his seat.

Many, including media, expected President Aquino to announce the standard bearer of the Liberal Party (LP) in the May 9, 2016 presidential elections. It was very appropriate though that PNoy did not announce his anointed one in his Sona.

But the praises that Roxas received from President Aquino sounded like he was already the anointed LP standard bearer. This must be the reason Vice President Jejomar Binay was widely grinning because, if surveys are to be believed, he would win hands down against Roxas.

Listening to the so-called political analysts on a Tuesday morning TV show, I heard them say that the President was a total failure even with the apparent growth in our economy and the gains in the drive against corruption under his leadership. I give him a passing grade though.

The President admitted he is not perfect. But he said “I can look anyone in the eye and say: I made the best decisions based on the information and the capacities we possessed at the time..I did all I could to forge a nation that is more just and more progressive..I will let history decide.”

The applause of legislators was surprising in that part wherein President Aquino asked them to pass the anti-dynasty law that has been in the Constitution for 28 years but Congress did not lift a finger to pass an enabling bill.

Vice President Binay was not among those PNoy thanked in his 17,000-word speech. When PNoy asked Congress to pass the anti-dynasty law, it was a swipe at the Binays. You know, the Binay family is in politics.

On the other hand, it’s not true that Sen. Chiz Escudero sulked and that he quit his powerful committee position in the Senate because PNoy did not mention him in his Sona.

Escudero quit because he is allegedly running for vice president. Would he be running with Sen. Grace Poe as his bet for president? This development should not be missed.

Senator Poe, in an interview after the President’s speech, felt that she won’t be the anointed one. But will she run for president even without the LP? Senator Poe, don’t be fooled by the surveys.

Local political pundits believe that history would repeat itself if Senator Poe would run for president even without a strong political party and machinery. It happened to his late father, Fernando Poe Jr. (FPJ).

That Senator Escudero would be her running mate for vice president has no bearing. Escudero’s bailiwick is only his home province and he has no party. Many were dismayed when Poe showed to the public that she could not decide without Escudero.

Davao City Mayor Digong Duterte, when rumors spread months ago that Roxas would run for vice president with Poe as president, threatened to run for president himself. Does this mean he is rooting for Roxas to be president?

In a four or three-cornered fight in the presidential race, Binay would win hands down. Consider that even with all the accusation of corruption and charges of plunder hurled at him, he is still on top of the surveys. Let’s cross our fingers this would not happen.

(freezone.ellie588@gmail.com)

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