What is happening to Mar Roxas?
AS I WRECK THIS CHAIR By William M. Esposo
The Philippine Star 2012-05-15
What is happening to Mar Roxas? Coming from Boo Chanco, an erstwhile Mar Roxas endorser, that question came as a big surprise. What Boo wrote in his May 9 and May 11 STAR columns casted doubts on the political future of Department of Transportation and Communications (DoTC) Secretary Mar Roxas.

Boo first commented in his May 9 column: “What is happening to Mar Roxas these days? I can’t believe he threatened the airline industry to cut flights to “solve” NAIA congestion or else he will do it for them.

In the first place, he still has to implement the restriction of general aviation use of NAIA, get that satellite based air traffic system sitting in his desk for the last 10 months that will facilitate more safe landings and take offs and provide runway lights to provincial airports so flights don’t get crowded in the daytime hours.

In other words, government has been totally negligent of its obligations to the aviation industry and the public at large. And Mar the bureaucrat wants to shift the burden and apparently the blame for NAIA’s congestion to the private sector.

Government’s role is to support private business and private business must plan for the long term. I can’t believe Mar, who is supposed to know private business best, would pull the rug from under the feet of our domestic carriers who are investing heavily in additional capacity because they believe in P-Noy and yes, up until now, in Mar too.”

Boo closed his May 9 column with this: “I am totally sorry and admit to have been mistaken for thinking Mar would be a good DoTC Secretary. I apologize to the Filipino people for suggesting in this column that he be named to that position. And to think he wanted to be president! Mar is such a big disappointment.”

To borrow the expression made popular by Senator Miriam Santiago — Wah! Are we seeing here a “sulian ng kandila (cessation of friendship)” situation? Boo is a credible business columnist and it’s a big boost to one’s political stock to be openly supported by him. Known for level headed and sober writing, Boo Chanco’s termination of support can also be considered a substantial erosion of Mar’s political stock.

Last May 11, Boo intensified his broadside against Mar with this: “I think for P-Noy’s (President Noynoy Aquino) sake, Mar should just run for the Senate again so that a better replacement can be tasked to fast track the projects that Mar is so afraid to get going. I am worried that when 2016 comes around, P-Noy will have little or nothing to show by way of a civilized international gateway airport and efficient mass transport system. Even in something as simple as getting car plates, the LTO, which is under Mar, can’t deliver earlier than a few months after you have bought a new car.
Trying to win back his old Senate seat will be the best thing for Mar. Being a senator does not require managerial abilities, something Mar is proving he has little of. All you need to shine as a senator is a good publicist and that’s probably why we thought Mar was good enough to even be president until his so called managerial skills were put to the test at DoTC.”

Boo virtually ruled out Mar for the job of president, an executive function. Boo went further: “Or maybe, Mar’s unexpected defeat at the hands of Jojo Binay has so traumatized him. Mar is apparently carrying the heavy emotional burden of his defeat into his DoTC position so that he is finding it extremely difficult to be effective… to make decisions.”

Boo further wrote: “Note that government has been constantly urging the private sector to invest and grow the economy. That’s what the airline sector did despite prevailing doubts. Now that they have invested and expanded, government through Mar threatened to curtail their services because government was not ready with the infrastructure to accommodate growth.

What kind of a deal is that? Even as the airlines have expressed support in public, they have expressed bewilderment in private. Other investors must now be thinking twice.”

Sources in the Liberal Party (LP) also told me that many of them seriously doubt Mar’s viability as a 2016 presidential candidate. In Philippine politics, the loser in a presidential or vice presidential race has less chances of winning in a second try for the two highest executive posts in the land.

If all the potentials of the P-Noy presidency are realized, that could swing a lot of votes for Mar in 2016. However, that would have a prerequisite. Mar has to prove that he’s worthy to succeed P-Noy. Per what Boo Chanco wrote, Mar has not quite proved his worthiness to be P-Noy’s successor.

P-Noy might like Mar Roxas and feel indebted to him for giving way during the 2010 presidential election. However, P-Noy cannot place his personal sentiments over the long-term interests of his party and country. As in the NBA Playoffs — Mar must win at the DoTC or go home.

Shakespeare: “Madness in great ones must not unwatched go.”

* * *

  Previous Columns:

It had to happen on The Ides of March and Holy Week

Suggested guidelines for liability- free Internet posts

Election lawyer: PCOS critics should put up or shut up

All Excited by Pope Francis

A great disservice to P-Noy

[Click here for the Archive]

Home | As I Wreck This Chair | High Ground | Career Brief and Roots | Advocacies | Landmarks Copyright 2006 The Chair Wrecker by William M. Esposo