Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, previously famed as Mr. Palengke, is the 58-year old grandson of former Philippine President Manuel A. Roxas, and is the presidential bet of Liberal Party (LP) for the 2016 elections – the same partylist under which President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III ran in the 2010 presidential elections as replacement for Roxas.
Mar graduated with a degree in Economics from the Wharton School of Economics, University of Pennsylvania. He first worked as an investment banker in New York, before he ventured into Philippine politics.
He served as Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) for nearly three years, after being appointed by Aquino on September 2012. He was also the Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) from 2011-2012; a Senator from 2004-2010; and the Secretary of Trade and Industry (DTI) from 2000-2003.
Initially one of the leading candidates in the 2010 presidential elections, Mar withdrew his candidacy to give way for then Senator Noynoy Aquino, and continued campaigning as Aquino’s running mate instead. He later lost against Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s (PDP-Laban) vice-presidential bet Jejomar Binay.
On July 31 last year, Roxas was formally endorsed by President Aquino to continue the current administration’s programs and reforms collectively tagged as Daang Matuwid (straight path). Following the endorsement, in his emotional speech, Roxas pledged not to deviate from the “straight path” initiated by Aquino. Immediately after the event, he launched his campaign website.
Despite his impressive background in politics and his experiences, however, the recent survey conducted by the Social Weather Stations (SWS) shows, that Roxas’ campaigns are not quite working, as he continues to be in the fourth spot, before Santiago.
Statistics show that the administration’s bet, Mar Roxas, suffered a decline in his ratings from January’s 21% to 18% in February. PDP Laban’s Jejomar Binay leads the survey with 29%, while Independent candidate Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, statistically tied in the second place with 24% each; and Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago remains at the bottom spot with only 4% of the respondents preferring her to be the next president.
The results of the February 2016 Pulse-Asia survey also reaped similar results: Poe and Binay in the top spot with 26% and 25% respectively. Close behind the two are Duterte and Roxas who both enjoy the support of 21% of the total registered voters nationwide, followed by Defensor-Santiago with 3% of the voters backing her.
If the survey results continue to show him as one of the bottom-ranking candidates before the May 2016 national elections, it may be a little difficult for him to gain more Filipinos’ trust and support, because a large percentage of the voters are still undecided and rely on survey results to choose their candidate. If this persists, his way to triumph will surely be a roller coaster ride.
Born: Manuel Araneta Roxas II
Date of Birth: May 13, 1957 (age 58) in Quezon City, Philippines
Political Party: Liberal Party
Spouse: Korina Sanchez (m. 2009)
Child: Paolo Roxas
Parents: Judy Araneta and Gerardo Roxas
- In January 19, 1946, Liberal Party was founded by Mar’s grandfather Pres. Manuel Roxas.
- He was the Majority Floor Leader in the 11th Congress.
- He was also known as “Mr. Palengke” advocating for consumer welfare and protection.
- He was the no. 1 senator in the 2004 elections garnering 19.3 million votes.
- In 2010, Roxas was originally poised to be LP’s standard bearer in the elections, but gave way to then Senator Benigno C. Aquino III.
- Secretary, Department of Transportation and Communications (July 4, 2011-September 2012).
- Secretary, Department of the Interior and Local Government (Sept. 29, 2012-Sept. 2015)
- Roxas took over the post of DILG Chief after DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo died in a plane crash in August 2012.
- In 1996, Roxas was recognized by the World Economic Forum as “one of the Global Leaders of Tomorrow who are expected to shape the future.”
- In 1999, Roxas was named by the Asiaweek Magazine as “Political Leader of the New Millennium.”
- The Singapore Government has awarded him as the 16th Lee Kuan Yew Fellow.
- On February 16, 2007, the E-Services Philippines awarded Roxas with the E-Champion Award recognizing his pioneering efforts and leadership in making the Philippines a popular outsourcing destination of choice.
- On September 18, 2007, Roxas was conferred with the Palanca Awards Gawad Dangal ng Lahi by CP Group Chairman Carlos Palanca III, Palanca Foundation Director General Sylvia Palanca-Quirino and Deputy Director General Christine Quirino-Pacheco for serving as an exemplary leader and role model to the Filipino.
Sources: marroxas.org, marroxas.com, senate.gov.ph, ABS-CBN’s Halalan 2016 app