By Ellen Tordesillas
Now that he has taken the helm at the Department of Interior and Local Government, it's a make or break for Mar Roxas in his bid for the presidency in 2016.
The position will allow him to be high profile, conduct headline- grabbing operations that will change his image from a lackluster, elitist politician to a swashbuckling crime buster. If he succeeds, he would be gliding easily to Malacanang four years from now.
It would be the realization of his long-planned campaign for the presidency, which was shelved in 2010 when he slid to the vice-presidential race (in favor of Aquino) which he lost for a variety of reasons including complacency.
If the DILG position catapults Roxas to the presidency, President Aquino could then consider to have duly repaid the former the huge favor extended to him. In the Philippine culture of debt and gratitude, we say,"Quits na"
Roxas' appointment at the DILG has nothing to do with good governance. It's all about Roxas' presidential plans and the Liberal Party extending its hold on power beyond 2016.
Aquino sees no distinction between governance and partisan politics. He mistakes the interest of the Liberal Party as logically the interest of the Filipino people.
Betraying a collosal sense of entitlement, he explained the latest appointment of Roxas as,"Tama lang naman po na ang pinuno ng isa sa mga pinakamatandang partidong pulitikal sa bansa ang makikipag-usap sa mga pulitiko. Sino pa nga ba ang sasalamin sa lahat ng katangiang ito kundi ang Pangulo ng aming partido na si Kalihim Mar Roxas. Itinatalaga natin siya ngayon bilang bagong kalihim ng Interior and Local Government. (It's just right that the head of the oldest political party in the country would be the one to talk to the politicians. Who would mirror these attributes if not the head of our party who is Secretary Mar Roxas. I'm now appointing him secretary of Interior and Local Government."
Despite all our misgivings, we are praying that Roxas does well in his job because it is our lives that are on the line. We dread the possibility of his failure.
Public perception does not favor Roxas.
Blogger Koko said, "I'll give Mar Roxas the benefit of the doubt. Too much is at stake here .If he fails, he will bring down all his party mates with him."
And the country too, Koko.
Koko further said, "Surely Mar will be constantly compared to Jesse Robredo who is a tough act to follow. Peace and order and illegal gambling will be the biggest challenge for him so he needs to appoint tough honest and committed Usec whose only duty is to pursue and neutralize all the criminals of all forms. Surely, this will make or break Mar Roxas."
Raul Reyes said, "A senator with economics background to deal with peace and order, gambling and corruption. A senator who did not do well with his expertise in Department of Trade and Department of Transportation and Communication. He grabbed the opportunity mainly because it gives him a chance for an early presidential campaign next election.
"It's a make or break for Mar. If he fails with peace and order, gambling and corruption — there goes his presidential aspiration. Even if he surrounds himself with capable alalay, I don't think Roxas has the balls and guts to what the job entails. I don't think the PNP and their counterparts will dance with Korina's music."
From blogger TonGuE-tWisTeD: "I have no doubt Mar is intelligent and capable. But what has he accomplished in DOTC? Aside from stopping and delaying the airport upgrade, reversing and delaying the Northrail Southrail connection, and no new highways, trains, ports, airports built in his time at DOTC, I don't approve of this kind of moving around/promotion from one department to the other without any accomplishments whatsoever.
"I'm sorry for my friend Ruffy Biazon, for example, who is being groomed for the Senate. But what has he done in Customs to merit such promotion? Are the petty busts that come once in a while, sufficient to say his job is done? So with Roxas.
"Mar may have not been involved in jueteng but being related to the Aranetas/Arroyos technically makes him a relative of the illegal gambling lords, don't it? He has not been in a position that involves direct law enforcement, except maybe in Coast Guard, which by the way was bypassed by the Navy in Scarborough that we are now experiencing this grand headache no Chinaman's pill could cure.
"His forte is high finance, so departments such as the DOTC (an engineer-friendly post) or DILG (best reserved for public admin/criminologists) are just not him."