It’s Noynoy-Mar

PHILIPPINES NEWS SERVICE — THE expected team-up of Senators Manuel “Mar” Roxas II and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III is now official.

Roxas himself yesterday announced he has accepted Aquino’s offer to become the Liberal Party candidate for vice president in next year’s elections.

The senator from Capiz vowed to end the “greed” that has been dominating Philippine politics as he formally acceded to become the running mate of the son of democratic icon Cory Aquino and martyred former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino.

Roxas, who abandoned his own presidential bid to give way to Aquino, made the announcement at the historic Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City, on the 37th anniversary of the declaration of martial law by the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos.

“Taos-puso ko pong tinatanggap ang hamon na isulong ang tunay na reporma sa ating bansa. Taos-puso ko pong tinatanggap ang responsibilidad na maging kabalikat ni Noynoy sa kanyang laban para sa pagbabago,” Roxas told LP stalwarts and members, and their supporters, most of them wearing yellow shirts.

“Mga kababayan, taos-puso ko pong tinatanggap ang maging katambal ni Noynoy Aquino,” he said.

Roxas explained that the fight is not just about Noynoy and him, it is about right or wrong.

“It’s bigger than the two of us, it is bigger than the Liberal Party. It is about our collective thirst for change,” the senator said.

He said the objective is “finally overcoming those who want to continue the tayu-tayo system, the horse-trading, the greed, the self-interest, the transactional politics that has been the biggest roadblock to progress and prosperity for all.”

“Tungkol ito sa matuwid laban sa baluktot. Tungkol ito sa tapat laban sa tiwali. Tungkol ito sa tama laban sa mali.

“Noy, you have raised the banner. Ito ang bandila ng reporma at pag-asa. Ito ang maglalagay ng pagkain sa mesa, dahil hindi na nanakawin ang pondo ng mga magsasaka. Ito ang magbibigay ng trabaho sa taumbayan, dahil hindi na kokotangan ang mga namumuhunan. Ito ang magpapaabot-kaya sa presyo ng gamot, dahil hindi na makikipagsabwatan sa mga abusadong pharmaceutical companies.”

He warned that the struggle for change is a considerable challenge. “My friends, this is going to be a tough battle. We should not be lulled into complacency. We are up against forces who will fight tooth and nail, fair and unfair, legal and illegal, against us. Sa kanila yata, tuloy ang ligaya; sa atin naman, tuloy ang laban.”

Roxas pledged to never give up the fight of his life drawing cheers from the jampacked crowd at the Club Filipino.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan, who earlier announced he was ready to give up his own bid for the vice presidency, said he will help in the Noynoy-Mar campaign in whatever capacity and role the LP might give him. “We cannot afford another six years of trapo, corrupt politics to dominate our daily lives. The Noynoy-Mar tandem is in the best position to mobilize our people to triumph and usher in the change we seek to realize,” he said.

“Our personal considerations have always been secondary to the cause of genuine change. For so long, our leaders have failed us. It is time for our people to end this failure in political leadership by uniting behind the urgent need for genuine change,” he said.

“We call on all people who yearn for real change to rally behind the Noynoy-Mar tandem. We must not allow the forces of bankrupt and trapo politics to prevail over the forces of reforms and genuine change. Our children deserve better. It’s time to reclaim the business of governance from those who have failed us and continue to fail us. It’s time for our people to stand up and say ‘enough is enough’,” Pangilinan added.