Mar drop bid, gives way to Noynoy

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — COUNTRY first before self.

With those words Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II announced he was giving way to his party-mate Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” Aquino III as the standard bearer of the Liberal Party in the 2010 presidential elections.

He was making the sacrifice to unite the Liberal Party, Roxas said in an early evening press conference yesterday at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City.

“Noynoy Aquino and I share the outrage in the mess we are all in… I want to make a difference.. .I am the president of the Liberal party. It is within my power to preside over a potentially divisive process or to make the party a bridge for the forces of change,” Roxas said.

It was not clear, however, if he would slide down and seek the vice presidency which his party-mate Sen.Francis Pangilinan is known to be also eying.

Interviewed after Roxas’ announcement, Pangilinan echoed the former’s words saying he would be willing to give up his own plan for the sake of country and his party.

Roxas said that he made what was the most difficult decision of his life not for himself but for the best interest of the nation. He admitted, though, that it was such a very difficult decision to make considering that he already made early preparations for his presidential bid in the May 2010 polls.

”Today, I am announcing my support for the candidacy of Noynoy Aquino for president of 2010. This is about our common dream. Country above self. Bayan bago ang sarili. Iyan ang habilin ng aking lolo, dating Pangulong Manuel Roxas,” the senator said.

Roxas added:”Sa madaling salita, Noy has made it clear to me that he wants to carry the torch of leadership. The passing of beloved President Cory (Corazon Aquino) has reawakened a passion among us. I see this as fuel to bring us to the realization of our dream. Good will win over evil. Ito na ang pinakamabigat na desisyon sa buhay ko. Manilawala man kayo o hindi ginagawa ko ito sa bayan at sa inyo.”