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Pretend not, be yourself, Roxas told

FORMER Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr. told Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II to stop pretending to woo the electorate but instead to be himself.

“Act yourself. Just be yourself. Do not pretend to be another character,” Pimentel  advised Roxas who remains the ruling Liberal Party’s bet in the 2016 presidential elections.


Senate President Franklin Drilon has stressed that Roxas is still the LP’s standard bearer in the next elections despite President Benigno Aquino III’s apparent inclination to seek a second term.

Pimentel said Roxas should show the public his “real self” and not project himself as “somebody else” because he was turning himself into a “laughingstock.”

“People will just laugh at what he’s doing,” said Pimentel who served as Interior secretary during the time of President Corazon Aquino.

Roxas drew flak when he was seen on TV and in the newspapers carrying a sack of garlic when the price of garlic was soaring. Before that, he had his photos taken using a hammer while doing carpentry work.

Pimentel said it was not important to voters whether a candidate was rich or poor since they were looking at what the candidate could do for them and the country.

“What services can you give them and the country is more important than the personality of a candidate,” Pimentel said.

“So Mar should stop being pretentious because the voters will not take him for that. They will just laugh at what’s he is doing. Just be yourself and offer what you can do for the people.”

Roxas has opted to be quiet on his plan to run for President, insisting he is more focused on his job.

But he surprised the public when he said he wanted Aquino to stay on for another term to continue his reforms. And a few days later, the President announced he favored amending the Constitution to clip the Supreme Court’s powers.

Some had viewed the President’s plan as a vendetta to get back at the Supreme Court after it declared the Disbursement Acceleration Program unconstitutional. Earlier, the high court ruled that the Priority Development Assistance Fund was unconstitutional and that led to its abolition.

Pimentel had earlier said Aquino should not seek a second term but give others a chance at being President.

Reacting on Aquino’s pronouncement that he would heed the voices of his “bosses,” Pimentel said Aquino was merely being fed the wrong information by his allies and minions who had interests to protect.

He said those people were merely generating a wave of “fake public clamor,” and that “The truth is that they’re hearing voices from trees.” 

He said it was “hard to imagine” a Jojo-Mar tandem, referring to Vice President Jejomar Binay and Roxas.

“It’s impossible!”Pimentel said.

Binay, who is perceived to be the force to reckon with in the 2016 presidential elections, has openly declared his plan to run for President.

Roxas and Binay aside, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Francis Escudero are said to be eying the presidency.

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