Roxas Tried to Broker Deal with Legarda to Get Her Out of VP Race

March 10, 2010

In an interview on Wednesday with Mike Enriquez over DZBB’s Ikaw Na Ba?: The Vice-Presidentials Series, Legarda said the offer was made before the Senate adjourned in February.
“Back when I had yet to find my running mate, Mar tried to make an arrangement wit me ‘outside of the political process’,” she said.
As she passed by his desk inside the Senate session hall, Roxas told her: “If there’s any way that you can support my principal (LP presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino) and me, if there’s anything you want, we can provide.”
At that time, she did not know what Roxas meant exactly. So she replied: “Please don’t talk to me in riddles.”
She later recounted this to her political advisers who told her that it was something like an “exchange deal.”
“I put my heart and soul into this,” she said. “There is no backing out for me. For Mar, the vice presidency was just a second choice because he was gunning for the presidency before. For me, the bid for the vice presidency is the natural continuation of my years in public service and my work to improve the lives of Filipinos by focusing on food security, jobs, health, peace and order, and a livable environment.”
Confident of her ratings
Legarda remained confident that her ratings would pick up in the remaining days of the campaign, despite recent surveys showing her trailing a bit behind Roxas.
“Hindi po ako nababahala (I’m not worried),” she told Enriquez in the same interview.
She pointed out that Roxas started campaigning earlier than she did. That was the reason why his ratings had been slightly higher.
Legarda had a consistently high rating in past elections, a base thaT she’s now counting on and she hopes to add to that by attracting some of the still undecided voters.
Not a ‘political butterfly’
Legarda also denied being a “political butterfly.”
She pointed out that in her political career she only joined two parties – the Lakas-NUCD-UMDP when she ran for senator in 1998 and the Nationalist People’s Coalition when she topped the senatorial elections for the second time in 2007. Now, she’s running for vice president under the same party, though she’s a guest-candidate of the Nationalista Party.
“When I first ran for vice president, I was an independent with FPJ (presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr.),” she told Enriquez in Filipino. “Ano ang palipat-lipat dun?”
She stressed that her running with Manny Villar was a political alliance between their parties.
“Alam niyo naman na magkaiba kami ng partido in Senator Manny Villar,” she said. “Si Manny ay Nacionalita, ako naman ay NPC. At nagkaroon kami ng alyansa noong Nobyembre nung ako’y tumakbong bise presidente at siya’y tumakbong presidente at nawalan siya ng bise, nawalan naman ako ng president.”
Black propaganda
Legarda said some of her critics have been resorting to black propaganda tactics – such as spreading tex messages saying that she planned to submit a bill revoking benefits given to teachers, soldiers, policemen, and nurses.
In reply to the issue, she once said: “Baliw lang ang gagawa niya (Only a nut would do that).”
Hitting back in the same radio interview, she repeated her statement that Roxas has been trying to grab credit for the Cheaper Medicines Law, which ironically he himself tried to water down.
If elected, she promised to boost the inadequacy of that law by pursuing policies to improve health care services for everyone.
Power shortage worries
One thing that worries Legarda is that there might be a power shortage that would disrupt the automated elections.
“Ako’y natatakot diyan (I’m afraid of that),” she said. “Eh kung ma-low batt, di ba?”