Mar Roxas leaving Aquino Cabinet

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2015 10:02 AM | Updated as of Aug 03 2015 06:02 PM

MANILA - Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas confirmed Monday he is leaving the Cabinet of President Aquino soon.

Roxas said he has already recommended some names to the President as his replacement.

"Magsisimula na po ang aking pag-turnover ng mga tungkulin ko bilang DILG at sa darating na mga araw ay ipopormal na natin ito," he said in a radio dzMM interview.

Aquino endorsed Roxas as the administration party's standard bearer for 2016 last Friday.

Critics have been urging Roxas to resign the Cabinet so he won't be able to use government resources in his presidential campaign.

In the interview, Roxas pointed out that despite his background in business, he has always worked on dismantling monopolies and fighting abusive practices. He said he worked hard for the passage of the Passenger Bill of Rights, fought pre-need companies that failed to honor its agreements and even sought to lower drug prices when he was still trade secretary.

He also said there has been no hint of corruption in his past 20 years in government service.

"Kung may nahanap kayo, palagay ko nahanap na. Itong mga katunggali natin, kung may mahahanap ito, matagal nang sinabi. Wala pong mantsa. Iyong ipinamana sa aking ng aking mga ninuno, magmula sa aking lolo, sa aking ama at kapatid, malinis ang kanilang mga pangalan. Hindi ko dudungisan ito," he said.

Roxas denied that he is elitist, saying he has dedicated his life to serving the country. Roxas is the grandson of former President Manuel Roxas and son of the late Senator Gerry Roxas.

"Tignan na lang natin kung saan ko inilaan ang buhay ko," he said.

He also denied that he is "suplado" (snobbish) towards people.

"Hindi naman suplado, seryoso lang. Seryosa sa pagtanggap ng mandato sa ating mga boss sa pamamagitan ni Pangulong PNoy na kailangang magpatuloy nitong Daang Matuwid. Tinatanggap ko ito bilang seryoso o sagradong obligasyon. Call of duty ito," he said.

Critics have said the President's endorsement is no guarantee Roxas will win next year's polls.

Roxas agrees with this opinion.

"Tama naman. Ang huling pag-pasya ay ating mga boss. Kaya pati na rin itong mga surveys. Isa lang naman ang pinakmahalagang survey, yung survey sa Mayo 2016, kung saan magpapasya ang ating mga boss. Kaya may tinatawag na campaign period di ba?"

Roxas gave up his plans for the presidency in 2010 to give way to Aquino, after the death of former President Corazon Aquino generated a clamor for her only son to run for the country's top post.

Roxas instead ran as Aquino's running mate but lost to Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Roxas will again face off with Binay, who has long declared his intention to seek the presidency under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), in next year's polls.

He could also face off against Sen. Grace Poe who was earlier wooed by President Aquino to join the Liberal Party as Roxas' running-mate.