THE left-leaning Bagong Alyansang Makabayan on Wednesday warned against administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II’s “win at all costs” strategy, saying it showed “telltale signs” of his “dictatorial tendencies” should he get elected as President.
“If how Mar Roxas campaigns is a preview of how he will govern, then I’m afraid we must be prepared for a de facto MAR-tial law,” Renato Reyes Jr., Bayan secretary-general, said in a statement sent to The Standard.
“The systematic elimination of your rivals; the use of government resources to secure victory; and the use of threats to coerce politicians to support you if Roxas is willing to do this to win, then he will not hesitate to do the same to attain his objectives when he is in power,” Reyes said.
He said Roxas’ had earlier promised to run a clean campaign based on the principles of the so-called straight path. He warned of LP members being-pressured to support the candidacy of Roxas or else they would be dropped.
“If in [the Ninoy Aquino International Airport] there is laglag-bala, in LP there are laglag-partymates,” Reyes said.
He attributed to Roxas the string of attacks against other candidates vying for the top post, such as the disqualification cases against presidential front runner Senator Grace Poe that filed before the Commission on Elections and the Senate Electoral Tribunal, the “malicious cancer-rumor” against Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, and the efforts to imprison Vice President Jejomar Binay over alleged corruption.
“The signs are everywhere. The Roxas camp is eliminating all of its political opponents via the filing of all sorts of administrative and criminal cases under the precept of the administration’s anti-corruption campaign,” Reyes said.
“Some of these cases may have merit, but the timing and the selective application of this anti-corruption campaign is dubious. Selective justice is one of the hallmarks of a dictator.”
Reyes likewise blasted Roxas for what he called “Marcos-like” hallmarks of dictatorship, such as the “lack of delicadeza” and “unabashed use of government resources for partisan political activity.”
“Imagine a presidential spokesman whose salary is paid by taxpayers loudly campaigning for Roxas. And the Official Gazette posting article after article supportive of the Roxas campaign,” Reyes said.
“We should also remember that Roxas did not immediately resign from his post even after he announced his candidacy. He even went around distributing patrol jeeps to local governments.”