Mar urged, avoid ‘puppet’ image
Anent the story titled “P-Noy can’t raise Mar” (Front Page, 8/9/15), I agree with the political analysts who are saying that Mar Roxas needs to create his own identity as a presidential candidate. While I believe that Roxas has what it takes to be president of this country, still he must demonstrate beyond any doubt his capability to win the presidency as his own man; he must prove that he can win on his own steam. He must show to the people that he can win not because, but in spite, of President Aquino’s endorsement.
Yes, Roxas owes P-Noy a debt of gratitude because of such endorsement. But that is as far as it goes. Let it not be said, if Roxas becomes president, that P-Noy would be collecting, and Roxas would be repaying such debt through presidential favors and accommodations of any sort, to the prejudice of the presidency.
Yes, Roxas is a close friend of P-Noy. But again, thus far, no farther. Surely, if he knows what is good for the country, Roxas should not allow such friendship to influence his decisions and thereby compromise the presidency. Indeed, he must not allow such friendship to get the better of him. Sa pagpapatuloy ng daang matuwid, dapat walang kaibigan. (In keeping to the straight path, friendship should not be a consideration.) I cannot relish the thought that if he becomes president, Roxas would project himself to the people as a prisoner of his own bias for P-Noy. He might unwittingly project himself as a sort of a “puppet” president. That would be unthinkable, to say the least. That would be an intolerable deception of the people.
Roxas should realize that if he becomes president, he would no longer be the alter ego of P-Noy or anybody else for that matter, like he was during his stint in the Aquino Cabinet where he served at the pleasure of the President. As president, he would be holding office at the pleasure of the Filipino people, his real masters.
As one vying for the presidency, Roxas must bear in mind that the loyalty demanded of a public officer, as constitutionally mandated, is loyalty to the entire Filipino people in whom sovereignty resides and from whom all government authority emanates (Section 1, Article II, and Section 1, Article XI, 1987 Constitution).
That is the bottom line.
—BARTOLOME C. FERNANDEZ JR., retired senior commissioner, Commission on Audit
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