Roxas praises Lilia Pineda's leadership

Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Says it's an example of 'Daang Matuwid'

PAMPANGA - Despite being a close ally of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda invited Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Mar Roxas to be the guest of honor and keynote speaker for the Barangay Health Workers and Barangay Nutrition Scholars Convention in San Fernando on Wednesday morning.

In attendance were more than 4,000 provincial and barangay officials, health workers, nutrition scholars, and residents.

In his speech, Roxas vowed to continue and expand PhilHealth programs and privileges if he is elected president in 2016.

He added that because of the Aquino administration's anti-corruption drive and honest collection of fees and taxes, the administration was able to pay off P75 billion in people's bills and medicine in hospitals all over the country this year.

He vowed to expand the universal health care program of government and the giving out of free maintenance medicine for diabetes and hypertension throughout the country.

He also mentioned several examples of beneficiaries of PhilHealth, scholarships and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) of government.

In an ambush interview on how he was able to reconcile with Pineda, a known supporter of the now Pampanga 2nd District Rep. Arroyo, Roxas said that the present administration does not discriminate against other parties and only considers the performance of the local leader in helping his or her constituents.

Roxas said that in his view, Pineda's leadership can pass as an example of "Daang Matuwid." He cited the provincial budget surplus of more than P1 billion, with all basic services and education subsidies provided to Pineda's constituents.

He said that Daang Matuwid is a program of government that anybody can follow and adopt.

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Pineda said that by inviting Roxas, she is just giving her province mates a chance to hear the platform of the LP presidential candidate.

Pineda said that other presidential candidates are free and welcome to visit Pampanga to present their programs.

In the end, she said, she will leave it up to the people to decide who they will vote.