Senator Mar Roxas–fit for president?

January 11, 2009 § 12 Comments

Learning from Professor and Senator Mar Roxas

Learning from Professor and Senator Mar Roxas

I admit–I was a vocal critic of Senator Mar Roxas. Eversince he debased himself with that Mr. Palengke campaign, my high regard for the good senator fell. Among the bevy of senatoriables in his generation, Mar, for me, was the best of the best. Being an academic, for me, it’s utterly senseless for someone as brilliant as Mar to undertake a campaign that was too baduy and too cutesy for comfort. Yes, he landed Number One on the first try. Why? Because people wanted to give him a chance to show that beneath those Mr. Palengke suit lies a true, blue, brilliant leader wanting to spearhead the campaign for true change.

In his first years, Mar Roxas did’nt disappoint the people. He spearheaded the Young Turks in Congress. Exhibiting integrity, Mar was the epitome of a fine leader we never had before. In my mind, he was the prime example of a maginoo, a true patriot.

However, in the last few months, especially when he announced his desire for the presidency, Mar turned out to be a letdown. His stand on issues sometimes ran counter to what the people feel. There was this disconnect from Mar Roxas’ thoughts and political philosophy with that of the people’s. As one observer noted, Mar is showing his true colors as a brilliant technocrat instead of showing his populist robe. To win, you need to be a populist. And most of those who support him, wants him to be a populist.

That was my expectation last Friday, January 9. Along with fellow bloggers DJB, Ding, Jester, Flowell, Marck, CaffeineSparks, and a host of others, I was expecting to talk to a veteran politico. I was expecting that Mar Roxas will mouth platitudes, and a ton of generalities on questions about the economy, etc. the way politicos do.

I was proven wrong.

Mar Roxas showed exactly the opposite. He was frank. He showed brilliance in his answers, especially that animated debate with DJB on the Bangsamoro question, on the issue of lingua franca and the Reproductive Health bill. I was expecting a politico, but I met a professor.

I also expected someone without any ideological platform. Again, I was wrong. Analyzing him and observing his demeanor when he was talking with us, showed me that this person has strong principles and strong opinions. He knows what he’s talking about and he can defend it to high heavens.

I liked what he said when Ding asked him about his relationship with Korina. Mar told us straight and without battling an eyelash—that’s (marriage) a personal decision between Korina and him. Ergo, whatever people think about his thing with Korina, he does’nt care. He loves Korina, period. And he does’nt give a damn whatever people think about it. A true maginoo.

Very presidential, don’t you think? It shows that Mar cannot and will not be influenced by any outside view. Mar is his own man. He has his own take on things and simply, his views is as rock-solid as steel. Yet, beneath that veneer, I also sensed that Mar is also a man who can take the blows, and accepts countrary views. He can take a punch. Yet, he’s magnanimous enough to accept comments and synthesize good views with his views.

Mar Roxas exhibited the finest character of a statesman, an academic, an ideologue and a doer–traits which I expect for my future president to have come 2010.

More than this though, I find him to be a gentleman. When asked about his future intentions on marriage, he said that he must be excused this time since his personal relationship with Korina should be best left to him and Korina. Good answer.

In my entire life, I voted just once—in the presidential elections of 1992 when Liberal Party and former Senate President Jovito Salonga ran. I’m not a Liberal by the way. I just thought that Salonga is better than Fidel V. Ramos.

Now, I definitely see the prospect of a good president in the likes of Mr. Mar Roxas. Mar is a work in progress and truly, Bobby Capco and the rest of the nationalistic staff of the good senator will definitely have their hands full in the coming weeks and months.

Mr. Senator, you have my vote. And I’ll try to convince others to follow you. You have the potential of becoming the best president of this generation.


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§ 12 Responses to Senator Mar Roxas–fit for president?

  • JP Anthony Cuñada says:


    I have nothing against Mar Roxas except that, for more than a decade he has been in politics as a member of the House of Representatives representing the province of Capiz, then as a Senator, why has my town, Pilar in Capiz, whose welfare he should look after, remains in a dismal state? And now he dreams of changing the country, advertising that he does a better job, and claiming that the country could be in a much better place were he to become its president.

    If he cannot change a lowly town only an hour away from the City named after his family name, how dare he proclaim he can change the Philippines and all of it?

    • I share your concern JP. Well, there are other candidates for the top post and we should at least dare them to present their platform of government. Regarding your town, maybe you have a point–if he can’t even fix that town, then, what’s his credibility on even changing one bit of this country right?

      Our role therefore is to remind him of his primary duty right now as a legislator. He’s not a local executive, ergo, he does’nt have any single responsibility fixing your town of Pilar in Capiz. Maybe time for us to write him an email and tell him to remind the mayor of that town to improve his services to his constituents

  • JP Anthony Cuñada says:

    Thank you for your attention, Patricio. Senators are one of the three most influential people in our government since they constitute one of the three equal branches. As such, they can exercise their power judicially such as writing bills or extrajudicially by exerting their influence. Influence by itself is not a product of stature or position. It is earned by living a life worthy of respect and emulation.

    Of course, Mar Roxas “doesn’t have any single responsibility fixing (my) town of Pilar.” But he did serve as its superior once as a representative of the 1st district of Capiz, and now as the Senator of the Philippines.

    Let me rephrase my final question then: if he could not influence that little town, how can he influence the whole Philippines?

    Yes, thank you for reminding me that I could send an email to him. I have never thought about it before because he seems unreachable.

  • jun asuncion says:

    Thank you pinoyobserver for your interesting site which I just discovered just now. Interesting exchange of views here with Mr. Cuñada whose concerns I certainly share. But I do think that Mar Roxas and the town Pilar connection is not the only case in the Philippines. If former President Corazon Aquino herself was not able to improve the city of Tarlac where she comes from, then we could excuse Mar Roxas for doing the same to Capiz and its towns. This is one of the reasons why I’ve decided that a fundamental qualitative change in Philippine politics should start in the barangay and municipal level , meaning that each of us should focus our attention primarily on the quality of our municipal officials, observe them, criticize them and help them improve their service and at the same time reach more and more town people and share them your views and concerns. I think we can be more effective in the towns we come from than in the national arena. We should go back to the basic, to the foundations of the nation, a fact that is ignored in the Philippines. In our country, I think it is more realistic as for now for me to dream of a progressive town Bulan, my town, than a progressive country in the near future. The word Philippines is too abstract for me – and I guess also for our president and senators that’s why they just enact bills into laws and do not know where and how to implement them. The fundamental reason why the lowly town of Pilar did not as of now benefit that much from any of those good laws hidden and forgotten somewhere in the archives. That wouldn’t help much also if Mr. Cuñada would write Mr. Roxas for the latter to remind the mayor of Pilar. This suggestion of yours already points out to that missing element in our Philippine politics- that of political culture. We have abundance in political structures but within a primitive political culture that’s why things don’t function as they should. Again, the Philippines is too big and so diverse of a nation for a president or senator to understand what a political culture is. Hence, I advice Mr. Cuñada to write directly to his municipal mayor for he understands more his town’s culture than Mr. Roxas, and also that Mr. Cuñada use his blog more toward this end and try to reach more of Pilar’s folks.
    This is just an opinion.

    jun asuncion
    Bulan Observer

    • thanks Jun,

      sorry for the late reply. i have’nt had the chance to open my blog. been very busy lately. yes, i agree. the political culture of ours is primitive. we still have this patronage based system that lies at the root cause of our underdevelopment. we do have an abundance of structures, yet, we seem unable to understand the fundamental processes and seemed still unconscious of what it would do for us. I guess Jun, what we need, instead of a moralist revolution is simply a cultural revolution—a reiteration of our basic and most fundamental political values that we will need in the future.

  • JP Anthony Cuñada says:

    Hi, Jun and Patricio.

    Let me direct you to these links. The first one is related to Patricio’s suggestion and my consideration about writing Mar Roxas. The second one is my discussion with another blogger about the same subject.

  • Boy Mejorada says:

    I think it’s unfair that a congressman’s performance should be measured by how he influenced the growth of a municipality. And a senator has the entire nation as his constituency, and he can’t pour every peso of his pork barrel into his home province. That would be bad politics because he will please only one province to the exclusion of a bigger voting population.

    More than that, a congressman should leave the task of building the LGUs in his district to the mayors, and to the governor above them. His job is legislation. He can help push projects for the district, but the initiative should really come from the mayors.

    I think Mar Roxas is ready for the top job. In the past, I, too, had some misgivings about the way he handled his political agenda. I strongly felt, for instance, that he should have been more vocal on certain issues. But I guess he was just biding his time, and didn’t want to give the other side a good view of his arsenal.

    Mar was here in Iloilo two weeks ago, and I saw a changed man. He is a man on fire. He is no longer afraid to express what’s on his mind. He is willing to tackle issues head-on. I think the country will start to see the leader in him in the months ahead, and learn to shift their trust from other front runners to this Senator from Capiz.

    • well boy, mar roxas is a man on fire, but depending on what you define fire. what we need is a firebrand, someone who will rouse our people from ages-old stupor.

      by the way boy, i don’t like how he handled the recent senate hearings. mar should project himself as gentleman, though he’s as angry as a

  • JP Anthony Cuñada says:

    Boy, I have discussed the point you raised in the first link I provided above.

  • nutheckler says:

    Senator Mar Roxas is a fine man. But we don’t need a fine man. We need a firebrand like Ninoy or Obama. The country’s problems are so complex…

  • Prime says:

    Hi! actually change begins with us. Mar can be a fit to run for president. he has the qualifications and not just he established a good image but also helped a lot. btw speaking of running, there’s a run for cause challenge this coming July 19. i know you might heard it but maybe we can begin our CHANGE there for the benefit for our fellowmen.its a run for home cause change. registration online is until TODAY. you might be interested. you can check out this link for further info! . i will be up for the 21k race and i’ll begin my change here for the needy. hope to see you there!

    • hi prime,

      what is a home cause change? 21 kilometers seems daunting especially to a 38 year old guy like me. but, i’ll try to run, although i haven’t run for 8 kilometers since my last ROTC training a decade ago, hehehe.

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