Palace: Mar focused on job

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang said Department of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas remains focused on his job following a statement by Senator Franklin Drilon that Roxas will be the Liberal Party’s standard bearer in the 2016 presidential elections.

“I spoke to Secretary Roxas. Sabi niya, ‘Trabaho lang. I have an obligation, I have a mandate to perform and I intend to do it regardless of 2016.’ So hindi po… tinitignan all these things in preparation for 2016 because there are concerns now that have to be addressed,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.

Lacierda said Roxas, as DILG chief, remains “on top” of addressing recent incidents of crime, and that steps are being undertaken to identify and arrest the perpetrators, including that of the latest robbery incident in SM Megamall.

“There are things being done right now to determine and identify and to apprehend these lawless elements,” he said.

Despite these reports on crime, PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima still has the President’s trust and confidence.

“We have every confidence in [PNP] Chief Purisima,” Lacierda said.

Lacierda pointed out that certain crimes are being highlighted in media.

“We’re looking at the overall picture. It just so happen that there a number of highlighted crimes reported. So we’re looking at the overall picture of the criminal activity in Metro Manila. We will get better data once we get the entire picture,” he said.