Presidential candidate Mar Roxas was the interviewee on last night’s Wanted: President, GMA Network’s interview series for the upcoming 2016 national elections.
The range of questions covered Roxas’s personal life, past experiences as a politician, and his views on today’s relevant issues.
Kapuso news anchor Mel Tiangco conducted the interview.
Her first question was for Roxas to describe the meaning of his slogan “Daang Matuwid.”
The experienced politician said it should be everyone’s principle.
“Sino bang gustong mamuhay nang baluktot?
“Ngayon, nagkakaproblema ang bansa natin dahil ang mga leaders, hindi sinusunod ‘yan.
“Dinadala tayo sa baluktot. Dinadala tayo sa pasyal na wala namang destinasyon,” he said.
Roxas also talked about his personal life. He told Tiangco that he gets emotional easily when he sees the destitute.
“Kung nakakakita ako ng inaapi, pinagsasamantalahan. Sa frustration, sa galit, marahil.
“Ang nakakapagpagalit talaga sa akin, kung nakakakita ako na pinagsasamantalahan ng bully.
“Galit ako sa bully. Galit ako sa mga siga-siga. Galit ako sa mga nagsasamantala,” he said.
MAR’S WIFE. Roxas also talked about his wife, broadcaster Korina Sanchez.
He said he does not think Sanchez will have a role in his government, once he is elected.
“Hindi ko nakikita na sasabak siya o sasama siya sa pamamalakad ng bansa.
“Kaya nga ang sabi ko na ang role niya ay ang pagiging misis ko. Homemaker. Supportive, ganun.
“Sa pagitan ng dalawang mag-asawa ay confidant.”
He also wants to have a son with the 51-year-old Kapamilya TV host.
Roxas has a 22-year-old son with beauty queen Maricar Zaldarriaga.
He said, “Well, we are trying. We are trying.
“We have a frozen egg and the doctor... we are constantly consulting with doctors.
“Whether I'm President or not, I wish to have another baby. Another child. And many more.”
IMAGE PROBLEM. Roxas then talked about the accusations that he has an image problem.
He said the various photos that went viral—where he was seen laying on ice, driving a tricycle, carrying a sack of rice, and conducting traffic—may just have been misinterpreted.
Roxas explained, "Kung minsan, nandun tayo sa palengke, itatanong ng photographer, ‘Sir, kaya niyo ba ‘yan?’
“E, kaya ko naman, e, gusto kong ipakita na kaya kong magbuhat ng isang sakong bigas.
“Siguro nami-misinterpret lang ng mga tao.
“Hindi naman ako nagpapanggap na tagabuhat ako ng sakong bigas.
“Malinaw naman ang pinagmulan ko.
“Sino naman ang mag-iisip na seryoso akong nagpapanggap na yun ang hanapbuhay ko, trabaho ko?”
TYPHOON YOLANDA. Roxas also answered the negative issues that have been hurled against him.
The 58-year-old politician denied that he was negligent in the rehabilitation efforts for the provinces that Typhoon Yolanda devastated in 2013.
He said rehabilitation efforts for Hurricane Katrina in the United States are also as slow.
“Kung titingnan natin ang Katrina, na mas mahina sa Yolanda, hanggang ngayon, ten years later, hindi pa sila tapos.
“Hindi ko sinasabi na dapat ganito kabagal. Bilisan natin sa abot ng ating kaya.”
He also recalled that he worked hard in the aftermath of the tragedy.
“Ang alam ko lang, e, wala akong tulog.
“Bago pa dumating si Yolanda, nandun na ako para tumulong sa paghahanda.
“Nang dumating si Yolanda, nandun ako, hindi ko iniwan, hindi ko pinabayaan ang mga kababayan natin.
“Matapos na lumagpas si Yolanda, nandun ako, hindi ako umuwi ng dalawang linggo,” he said.
MAMASAPANO TRAGEDY. Another issue was the death of 44 SAF agents in Mamapasano, and the government’s alleged lack of responsibility for it.
Roxas believes the cause of the tragedy is the lack of coordination between the Philippine National Police, where SAF is under, and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.
Roxas was the head of the DILG when this happened, but he said he had no knowledge of the operation.
“Ang Pangulo, inutos niya na dapat may koordinasyon sa Armed Forces of the Philippines. At dapat lamang na may koordinasyon.
“Bakit walang koordinasyon? Alam ko yung kakayahan ng PNP.
“Ang PNP walang armored. Ang PNP walang helicopter. Ang PNP walang mortar.
“Inutos ng Pangulo na mag-coordinate. Hindi nagkaroon ng koordinasyon.
“Yun ang simula at sentro ng kontrobersiya na ito,” he said.
Roxas said that if he was President then, he’d also do the same thing that President Noynoy Aquino did.
“Kung ako ang Pangulo, iuutos ko rin yun.
“Bakit? Alam ko na walang howitzer, alam ko na walang eroplano, helicopter, etc. ang PNP.
“At sakali na maipit sa isang mapanganib na sitwasyon ang tropang ito ay dapat may resbak sila.
“So, ang sabi nga ng Armed Forces, hindi nga nila alam.
“Ang pinakamalapit na helicopter ay nandoon sa Pagadian, three hours away.
“So, ang trahedyang ito is really because there was no coordination.”
MRT CONTRACT. The last issue that he answered was the regular failure of the MRT. Critics think that this was caused by the frivolous contracts that the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) entered while Roxas was its head.
Roxas thinks that the real issue was the MRT’s original contract.
“Ang problema nung MRT, sa totoo lang, ang ugat niya ay nagmumula dun sa orihinal na kontrata na ibinigay.
“Ang nagmamamay-ari ng MRT ay pribado rin, e.
“Gusto man ng gobyerno na kumilos, e, pribado ‘yan, e.
“Kaya ngayon, may kilos ang gobyerno na bibilhin na lang sa pribado.”
He also said new trains are coming soon.
When Tiangco mentioned that the new trains are coming too slowly, Roxas replied: “Matagal talaga, hindi naman nabibili sa grocery ‘yan, di ba?
“Ang punto ay, ang bawat train pag in-order ay ginagawa.
“Ang bidding ay ginawa last year, I think. Kaya ginagawa ngayon at dine-deliver.”
DAANG MATUWID. Aside from answering negative issues, Roxas also talked about his views on today’s relevant issues.
The former senator said he’d continue the current administration’s fight against corruption.
He assured the public that he will stamp out the corrupt, even if they are also in the Liberal Party.
“Hindi namin puproteksyunan ang katiwalaan. Hindi naman tutulungan ang baluktot,” he said.
When Tiangco asked him, however, if there are current officials from the Libeal Party that are being prosecuted by the Ombudsman due to graft and corruption charges, Roxas was not able to give a name.
“I don't have the... but I will give you the list of people who are being investigated by the Ombudsman,” he answered.
Roxas then talked about his plans to build elevated highways that will lighten EDSA traffic.
He also thinks that one solution to traffic is to review the franchises of bus companies.
“Kaya nga nag-aagawan ang mga bus, e. Nag-aagawan sa mga pasahero.
“So, sa kanilang pag-aagawan nila sa pasahero, kinakain nila yung mga lanes, kaya traffic, traffic.
“Sa ibang bansa, I'm sure napansin niyo ito, iisa lang, lahat ng bus nakapilang ganun.
“Kasi, whether pumasok ang pasahero dito, dito o sa susunod, iisa ang takilya, iisa ang kahera niyan, e,” Roxas said.
Roxas said death penalty is not the solution to the worsening crime rate, because the punishment is not a deterrent to crime.
“Ang deterrent ay hindi doon sa parusa, e.
“Matimbang man, mabigat man ang parusa, kung hindi ka naman mahuhuli, mababayaran mo ang prosecutor at makakalusot ka sa judge.
“E, kahit double death penalty o triple death penalty pa ‘yan, e, kung hindi ka naman mahuhuli, walang saysay ‘yan.”
Lastly, Roxas said that his track record will show that he is always for tax reform.
“Pero dapat pag-aralan natin ito dahil sa gobyerno, ang bawat kilos ay may epekto ‘yan.
“Ano ang programa na matatamaan kung bawasan natin itong mga buwis na ito.”
The next presidential candidate on Wanted: President is Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
His interview with Mel Tiangco will air on Sunday, February 7.