The marvelous, shooting himself in the foot, Mar Roxas

Monday October 29, 2018 ()

Liberal Party (LP) superhero Mar Roxas who the opposition is touting as the game changer in the 2019 senatorial campaign just started at the wrong foot by endorsing the Duterte administration.

Contrary to what his partymates are saying about the dictatorial and repressive regime, Mar said democracy is now very much alive to launch his bid.

His quip is now the battlecry of the administration slate and at the same time makes the LP candidates all liars.

Mar Roxas
(Mar Roxas files candidacy for senator in 2019 elections)

Mar, however, did not fare badly in his Senate quest and even topped the 2004 race using the monicker “Mr. Palengke” that successfully transitioned his image from a member of the country’s elite family to being close to the masses.

He, however, failed to sustain the made-up image in gunning for higher posts losing twice against city mayors.

In 2010, he fumbled his vice-presidential bid to Makati Mayor Jojo Binay while in the 2016 race for the presidency, he succumbed to the popularity of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Now he is expected to carry the senatorial banner again and his initial misstep with the accidental endorsement of the Duterte administration may prove costly.

Mar is known to miserably shoot himself on the foot under stress such as when he told Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, “You’re a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino” during the recovery efforts when the city was devastated by typhoon “Yolanda” in 2013.

The vindictive politics quip was issued during the time when Mar was seeking a signed waiver from Romualdez to transfer authority of the city to the national government, which means Roxas, then the Interior Secretary, taking over control of the local government.

Romualdez refused since he was advised that it maybe held against him as a “constructive resignation.”

Mar is also known for his slip of the tongue when he called alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles as “Ma’am Napoles” at the height of the investigations into the scripted P10-billion anomaly that targeted opposition Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.

But more recently, Mar had been identified as having caused the sacking of former Interior Secretary Ismael Sueno who inherited an anomalous contract from him which involved the purchase of 76 brand-new Rosenbauer firetrucks through a P1.3 billion financing from the Austrian government.

The House had questioned Roxas over some P200-million hidden charges in the deal which placed the price of one firetruck at P21 million when the going price was only P7 million.

The hidden charges include a so-called project management tag costing P56.24 million, project administration tag worth P13.32 million, training and manuals worth P24.67 million, engineering and specification design costing P16.25 million, other accessories costing P24.7 million and the undelivered spare parts amounting to P61.98 million or a total of P197.18 million.

The loan agreement was sealed by former Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima with the Unicredit Bank Austria AG for Phase 2 of the Capability Building Program of the Bureau of Fire Protection, an agency attached to the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) of Roxas.

The problem of Sueno popped up when the supply contract for the project was handled solely by him and two of his subordinates, DILG Head Executive Assistant Josephine Leysa and BFP officer-in-charge Chief Supt. Bobby Baruelo, who all of them dealt directly and exclusively with the Unicredit Bank which provided the loan. Sueno was the one who approved the supply contract.

The loan agreement had to be implemented since the government risked punitive legal action from the Austrian bank that could cost the Philippine government billions of pesos.

President Rody Duterte, without blinking an eye, fired Sueno over the Roxas misdeal.

Now the chief trouble-shooter of the LP wanted a return to the political stage.

The heavy baggage he carries is expected to weigh down rather than improve the chances of the already uninspiring LP slate.


  • Marvelous Mar, TEB, October 21, 2018, Daily Tribune


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