Who will Mar Roxas run with in 2016?

By Harvey S. Keh

Posted at Jul 23 2015 12:59 AM | Updated as of Jul 23 2015 08:59 AM

My friends in certain political circles have told me that Senator Grace Poe is all set to run for President with Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero as her Vice President. Like Senator Serge Osmena and some legislators, I would’ve preferred Poe to consider running for Vice-President and then make the leap to the Presidency in 2022 but as fate would have it, it seems that she has already made up her mind to go for our nation’s highest post in 2016.

I have no problems with Poe, I believe that her heart is in the right place and I admire her for taking a strong stand to push for the Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill. My only issue with her is her strong ties with Escudero, who might end up being our de facto President if Poe does win in 2016. I hope that Poe would be able to show some measure of independence and not allow herself to be dictated upon by Escudero.

Given this scenario, I believe that President Noynoy Aquino and the ruling Liberal Party will now endorse DILG Sec. Mar Roxas as the official standard bearer of this administration. Roxas is more than ready to be President given his vast experience in both the executive and legislative branches of government. Like Poe, he has never been implicated or involved in any corruption scandal despite being in government service for more than two decades.

In short, Roxas has shown that you can be both an ethical and effective leader in our government. Now, the question is who will be the running mate of Roxas? Let’s explore some possible scenarios.

Cayetano or Trillanes as VP?

The first possible scenario is a coalition with the Nacionalista Party (NP) which currently has two Senators who are positioning to become Vice-President, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes. Both Cayetano and Trillanes were heavily involved in the Senate’s investigation of the alleged billion pesos corruption that happened in the building of the Makati City Hall Carpark. This investigation was instrumental in bringing down the once mighty numbers of Vice-President Jejomar Binay. If the LP wants to keep its current coalition with NP, then it will most likely select either Trillanes or Cayetano as Roxas’ runningmate.

Possible coalition with PDP-Laban

The next possible scenario is a coalition with PDP-Laban with Davao City Mayor Rody Duterte as the Vice-President of Roxas. This would help bring Mindanao votes to Roxas given that this region has been a strong bailiwick of Duterte and PDP-Laban. Duterte will also help bring a “tough guy” image to the campaign and should allay fears that Roxas may not be able to deal with the worsening crime situation in our country. This would be a strong tandem but it may not be realistic since Duterte has time and again said that he would not run for higher office in 2016 and if he should change his mind, his only option would be to also run for the Presidency.

LP’s own possible Vice-Presidentiables: Ate Vi or Leni Robredo?

Finally, the Liberal Party can also go on its own, it has two strong stalwarts who can also run for Vice President namely, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo. Both are women who have already proven track records in public service and like Roxas, they are both champions of good governance in our country.

Recto has already served in Batangas as Mayor of Lipa City and as Governor for almost 18 years thus, she is more than ready to also assume the second highest post in our country. Prior to serving in Congress, Robredo practiced as a human rights lawyer that helped uplift the plight of marginalized groups in our society such as farmers and fishermen. Her experience in helping these groups will augur well in ensuring that the LP’s platform of governance will have room to address the plight of these groups.


Comments are welcome at [email protected]

Harvey S. Keh is the Executive Director of the Institute for Governance and Strategic Partnerships (IGSP) and the Executive Director of the Acts of Hope for the Nation (AHON) Foundation.


Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.