I’m puzzled by this story going around that cause-oriented types are now warming up to Mar Roxas hoping he will pursue “policy reforms” once he captures the presidency come 2010. As far as I know, Mar has never been associated with any progressive policy agenda. Mar doesn’t seem to have the knack for speaking for or against anything even when time demanded so. We never heard him talking about agrarian reform or agricultural modernization. He never knew him being passionate about human rights and political killings. He was never truly pro-Erap nor was he really anti-Gloria. He doesn’t seem to have clear stand on anything: environment, globalization, foreign debt, gender, deregulation, Doha round of talks, etc. He never spoke against monopolies and oligopolies. Maybe he behaves this way because he is just consistent being pro-Mar Roxas.
If there’s one thing he is associated with, it’s with Corina Sanchez, and the buzz about them simply faded after he won his Senate seat. Now, that he is angling for the Presidency are we going to see him with Corina again? And why does he have to do that? What is he trying to cover for?
Mar says he is Mr Palengke (markets). But he never had any legislative proposal for expanding or freeing Philippine markets. He is probably even anti-market.
Consider this: In 2001, Roxas caved in to the local cement lobby that was then complaining about “injuries” caused by rising cement imports and was forced to slap additional duties (about P20 per bag) on them, thus significantly raising cement prices in the local market and penalizing the local construction industry. In response, the Tariff Commission conducted an investigation and found out that Roxas’s decision was totally baseless, as local manufacturers maintained an 80-percent share of the domestic market. The report also stated that there was no injury to speak of, nor was there any worker losing his job because of the rise of cement imports. The industry, in fact, improved its productivity as a result of the rising foreign competition. But Mar Roxas simply brushed off the Tariff Commission study in order to shelter the cement industry from foreign competition.
Mar, who are you really? Show us the real stuff you are made of.