LP in a quandary over Mar Roxas

Chito ParazoInterior Secretary Mar Roxas, the presumptive administration presidential candidate, appears to be losing his political appeal even from some key members of his own Liberal Party (LP).

There are even reports that the LP is heading for a breakup as a result of their leaders’ failure to reach a consensus as to who will be their candidate in the coming 2016 presidential election.

I think the break-up of the party will only happen if President Aquino will endorse someone other than Secretary Roxas, who until know, seems to be the sentimental choice of LP bigwigs to be their presidential  candidate.

In a recent story that came out on the front pages of The Daily Tribune, it was reported that House Speaker Sonny Belmonte and his “runaway group” were threatening to split from the Liberal Party to support a winnable presidential candidate in 2016.

This will complicate matters for Roxas who is banking on the all-out support of all his partymates as well as the endorsement of the President as his successor. I have no doubt the President will endorse Roxas as the administration presidential candidate within the next few weeks.

Roxas has sacrificed a lot for the President. He even absorbed all the blames for the administration’s failure to address the basic needs of the people, particularly the downtrodden. The President has no choice but to pick Roxas as his candidate for 2016. Roxas knows too much about what President Noynoy and his KKK and “Kamaganak” Inc did during his incumbency.

However, as of presstime and in spite his continued media exposure, Roxas remains in fourth place among possible presidential contenders preferred by voters in previous poll surveys conducted nationwide for the May 16 national election.

Roxas has always been lagging behind Senator Grace Poe and the much-maligned Vice President Jejomar Binay in almost all polls conducted nationwide this year, prompting some LP bigwigs to cast doubts on the winnability of Roxas in 2016.

It has been rumored that Belmonte and his group are in favor of adopting independent neophyte Senator Poe to be the presidential candidate of the Liberal Party. Belmonte’s group are pushing for a Poe and Roxas tandem instead of a Roxas and Poe pairing.

Even the President has been reportedly trying to convince Poe to run as Roxas’ vice presidential candidate. So far, Poe remained firm in her decision not to run alongside Roxas.

Secretary Roxas and Speaker Belmonte never had a cordial relationship after the former lost his bid for the Vice Presidency in the 2010 national election against former Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay. The statement attributed to Belmonte regarding his possible departure from LP might not have jolted Roxas after all. He knows that he cannot and will never have the support of Belmonte and his group.
Belmonte and President Aquino’s  uncle, former Congressman Jose “Peping” Cojuangco, were the chief architects of the “Noy-Bi” tandem in the 2010 presidential election. Both worked hard for the election of Aquino and Binay.

In the event that President Aquino suddenly changes his mind and anoint Senator Poe as the administration candidate, Roxas can act as the spoiler. If this scenario plays out, Roxas and his loyal followers can always wrest control of the LP and  support another candidate other than the bet of the President and Belmonte’s runaway LP group.

Meanwhile, former Senator Panfilo Lacson’s plan to question the 2015 P2.6 trillion national budget before the Supreme Court is commendable.

The former Senator made the disclosure in a speech he made before members of the Philippine Institute of Certified Accountants. Lacson said he will file a case before the Supreme Court regarding his findings about the existence of some P426 billion in pork barrel lump sums inserted in the 2015 budget.

Senator Serge Osmeña confirmed the exposé of Lacson about the insertions of lump sums and discretionary funds , previously known as Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

Osmeña even told the media that Malacañang gave assurances to Congress that they can still identify projects placed in the budgets of different agencies as much as P200 million. He was also quoted as saying that some Senators have projects even worth P1 to P2 billion.

Although he refused to divulge the identity of these Senators, Osmeña said that lawmakers are entitled to have at least P200 million for their specific projects.

Both DAP and PDAF were declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court last year. The DAP and PDAF were crafted by Budget Secretary Florencio Abad to bribe lawmakers to pass all pending pet bills of President Aquino in Congress.

Hopefully, the Supreme Court will give weight to the petition of Senator Lacson if only to do what is legally right. The Filipino people are already tired of the “daan matuwid” rhetoric of President Aquino and his allies.

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