MANILA - Former senator Mar Roxas is not counting on campaign branding and catchphrases to succeed in his bid for a Senate comeback in the 2019 midterm elections.
Roxas' catchy jingle and monicker "Mr. Palengke" helped him top the 2004 Senate race, but his succeeding campaign gimmicks did not help him win the 2010 vice presidential race, and the 2016 presidential elections.
Asked how he intends to brand himself to the upcoming elections, Roxas said: "Wala nang chale-chaleco, wala nang kulay-kulay. Basta eto yung ideas ko, ito yung kakayahan ko, karanasan ko, ito 'yung kakayahan ko. Sana tulungan niyo rin ako."
Roxas said he is bracing for a "difficult campaign" as part of the opposition's senatorial slate, but he is hopeful that it will not be a "2016 redux" or a repeat of his two consecutive failed election bids.
"Dumaan tayo sa roller coaster. Nagsisimula sa anger, denial, distancing, broadening of insights and perspective and understanding, hanggang maka move on ka na," he said.
"Ninais kong maging pangulo dahil meron akong mga naisip na lunas. Hindi ito nangyari, natalo ako, tanggap ko yun. Ganiyan talaga ang buhay. Tapos na yung chapter na iyon," he said.
"This campaign is not about 2016. This is not 2016 redux. This campaign is about today, about our future," he said.
The 61-year-old Roxas said his 3-year hiatus from politics helped him see the plight of ordinary Filipinos as he spent time to travel around the country, enjoying the perks and discounts for senior citizens.
"Maayos ang Pilipino. Nagnanais lamang, nangangarap lamang ng even chance, pantay na laban," he said without detailing how he plans to level the playing field for poor Filipinos.