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September 02, 2015, Wednesday
  • MMDA personnel to act as support group to PNP Highway Patrol Group (HPG) that will now man traffic flow along EDSA. 2 minutes ago |
  • PNP says it can readily deploy at least 80 Highway Patrol Group members to take charge of traffic flow in EDSA. 2 minutes ago |
  • PNP Highway Patrol Group that will now man traffic along EDSA to focus on 6 'choke points.' 3 minutes ago |
  • Atty. Levito Baligod to submit to Ombudsman the affidavits of witnesses linking 20 current & past lawmakers to pork barrel scam. 4 minutes ago |
  • Murder & illegal possession of firearms filed vs. Jojo Abaya who fired at a van at Katipunan Ave. in QC & killed a female passenger. 6 minutes ago |
  • Woman dies as son of a ret. general fires at a van he thought was from a drug rehab center that was fetching him at Katipunan Ave. in QC. 43 minutes ago |
  • Missing mountaineer in Tarlac found dead. 13 hours ago |
  • Two bodies recovered from a landslide in Benguet. 13 hours ago |
  • Senate approves bill exempting Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) from paying 12% VAT. 13 hours ago |
  • Baler RTC Judge Jude Erwin Alaba shot and killed in an ambush in Baler, Aurora. 14 hours ago |
  • 1 woman & 2 men shot in an ambush on Tuesday at about 8 pm along Katipunan Ave. at the boundary of White Plains & St. Ignatius Village QC. 14 hours ago |
  • Ombudsman Morales says she’ll decide in 1 month if a case may be filed vs. Abad & other gov’t ofcls. over DAP. 19 hours ago |
  • Ombudsman Morales reveals she has started a probe on the role of Pres. Aquino, DBM Sec. Abad & other gov’t officials on DAP. 19 hours ago |
  • MMDA collects at least 10-truckloads of trash from EDSA-Shaw Boulevard following INC’s rally in the area. 19 hours ago |
  • One Dream Pres. Arnel Gacer fails to show up at DOJ preliminary investigation on syndicated estafa case filed against him. 20 hours ago |
  • Coloma says the Ombudsman may launch a probe into any issue like DAP but the President is immune from any suit. 20 hours ago |
  • Atty. Renato Bondal says P 127M in professional fees alone was paid by PHEI to STI from 2006 to 2015. 20 hours ago |
  • Lawyer Renato Bondal says the Phil. Health Educators (PHEI) was established in 2003 to take money from Makati’s school system. 20 hours ago |
  • Lawyer Renato Bondal sues VP Binay & Makati Mayor Binay for alleged anomalous deal between University of Makati (UMak) & STI. 20 hours ago |
  • Atty. Renato Bondal files plunder & graft charges vs. VP Jejomar Binay & suspended Makati Mayor “Junjun” Binay. 20 hours ago |
  • Pro-environment group holds protest at Japanese Embassy in Pasay City to condemn massive dolphin-hunting in Japan. 23 hours ago |
  • Local gov’t offers P 50K reward for the arrest of the killers of a 10-year-old girl in Tanay, Rizal. 23 hours ago |
  • Thousands of fishermen expected to troop to Luneta on Wednesday to protest the amended Fisheries Code. 23 hours ago |
  • Ombudsman to file a motion for reconsideration at SC after it granted Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s petition to post bail. 23 hours ago |
  • Weather forecasters say about two to four storms will hit PH in September. 23 hours ago |
  • Maynilad & Manila Water warn of water supply interruptions in some areas in NCR with the onset of El Nino. 23 hours ago |
  • Some fishermen complain the Amended Fisheries Code contains too many restrictions. 23 hours ago |
  • Comelec reminds OFWs that the deadline for their registration is on October 12. 23 hours ago |
  • Comelec lengthens voter registration days from Monday to Saturday and on holidays. 23 hours ago |
  • 12-year-old girl dies in fire that hit their home in Sitio Masikap, Quezon. 23 hours ago |
  • Search on for mountaineer swept away by strong waves while crossing a creek in San Jose, Tarlac. 23 hours ago |
  • Landslide hits Villaviciosa town in Abra forcing at least 166 families to flee their homes. 23 hours ago |
  • Expelled INC Min. Isaias Samson Jr. asks gov’t what deal it struck with INC that supposedly ended its 5-day rally. 23 hours ago |
  • Justice Sec. Leila de Lima back at work at DOJ and says she has no plans of resigning. 23 hours ago |

Mar Roxas’s puppet show?

By Francisco S. Tatad | Nov. 06, 2013 at 12:00am

Since 2010, the Aquino administration tried to keep it under lock and key. But the secret is finally out. It is Manuel Araneta (Mar) Roxas II, PNoy’s unsuccessful vice-presidential candidate and incumbent secretary of Interior and Local Government, who has been running the show all along, calling all the important shots. Don’t call it a puppet show, but Aquino is the face that speaks and moves on stage, while Roxas throws his voice and pulls the strings.

This revelation came after Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa was quoted in this paper as saying it was Roxas who had pushed Aquino to make that widely derided “I am no thief” speech on television, which has now become the latest national calamity under the Aquino administration.

This unmasks the Aquino presidency as a farce. But there is an explanation and an excuse. Aquino and Roxas ran together in 2010 under the Liberal Party and had some kind of a political “prenuptial agreement.” They agreed that should they win, Roxas would run the government, very much like a prime minister in a parliamentary government. This would compensate Roxas for his personal and political “sacrifices,”and allow the young bachelor president much-needed rest.

It will be recalled that before Aquino became the LP standard bearer in 2010, Roxas was the declared LP candidate. None of the LP big boys----Franklin Drilon, Florencio Abad, and Roxas himself----thought of Aquino figuring in that election. They scoffed at Batangas congessman Hermilando “Dodo” Mandanas in one meeting for suggesting that Roxas pick Aquino as his running mate.

But the stars (and “stripes,” some would add,) had other plans for the Aquino family and the old client-state. Cory Aquino, who became president three years after her husband Ninoy Aquino had been assassinated, was ailing then, and suddenly her condition took a turn for the worse. With ample support at home and abroad, celebrity-daughter Kris, her siblings Ballsy, Pinky and Viel, her showbiz associates and the entire conscript press hyped Cory’s illness, her eventual death and funeral to catapult the innocent Senator Noynoy to celebrity status. Thus, for the second time in 14 years, the family proved the truth of what a British statesman once said, that “in politics, so long as there is death, there is hope.”

Roxas had to slide down to the vice presidency, much to the disappointment of the Araneta Roxas family, which had already spent part of its old and new money on his Malacanang run, not to mention Mar’s new bride, the ABS-CBN news anchor Korina Sanchez, whom many had dreamed of seeing eclipse the First Ladyship of Imelda Marcos. In full appreciation, Aquino promised Mar---if elected---the virtual prime ministership in a presidential government.

It was not the first time an Aquino had entered into such a political “pre-nup”. In 1986, when Cory Aquino and Salvador “Doy” Laurel ran in the snap election called by Marcos, she also promised that, if elected, she would let “Doy” conduct the daily business of government. The “covenant” was forged in the presence and residence of my good friend, the late industrialist Vicente “Teng” Puyat, son of the highly respected former Senate President Gil Puyat, and a close friend to both.

But Cory and Doy lost the election, and when they eventually took power after the US-supported military-civilian revolt ousted Marcos, she proclaimed a revolutionary government, and forgot all about the agreement. She and Laurel eventually ended fighting in office.

In PNoy’s case, the story took a different turn. Aquino won, but Roxas lost. The latter had to wait for a year, as provided by law, before he could be named to a Cabinet post. But most of those hovering around Aquino were Roxas loyalists. Outside of Ochoa, Aquino’s friend for many years, PNoy could count only on his four sisters to act as his honest confidantes. He had given Vice President Jejomar Binay, a trusted family friend, a Cabinet post, but he could not draw him any closer without antagonizing Roxas, who had refused to concede defeat. So from Day One, Roxas, who had no official status, was allowed to meddle in the affairs of the new government.

After a year, Aquino named Roxas as Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communication. A year later, following the death of DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo in an air crash, he took over the vacant post. Roxas found this a strategic position from which to project himself as the next LP presidential candidate.

At the Zamboanga standoff between the military and the Moro National Liberation Front last September, Roxas unilaterally assumed the post of “ground commander” while the military officers with legitimate command responsibilities for the operation involving 11,000 fighting men were left out. On the fifth day of the siege, there was a chance to negotiate a ceasefire to save lives on both sides and among the civilian population and eventually end the standoff. Roxas summarily rejected it.

The result was an extended siege that cost hundreds of lives lost, many more wounded, thousands of homes burnt, over a hundred thousand people displaced, billions of pesos in foregone business revenues, and which possibly gave a new impetus to Nur Misuari’s Mindanao independence movement. The death and degradation suffered by the Tausugs may have cemented the support of previously warring tribes behind the movement. A resurgent arms trade within the region has since been reported. But Malacanang paused this week to honor its Zamboanga “heroes,” and celebrate the debacle as a smashing success.

Roxas’s latest “achievements” seem far more impressive. Aside from making Aquino deliver that disastrous DAP speech, Malacanang insiders now say it was Roxas, more than Abad, who conceptualized the DAP. “He conceived it, and Abad implemented it.” But by making Aquino absorb all the flak on the DAP, he has successfully dodged any responsibility for it.

Insiders predict that Roxas will soon move to take Ochoa’s place as Executive Secretary, promote DILG Undersecretary Rafael Santos as DILG secretary, put DOTC Secretary Joseph Abaya in Voltaire Gazmin’s place as Secretary of National Defense, and bring in a new hireling to run the DOTC. Roxas would then be openly in full control of government, even if Aquino remains in office.


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