Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Mar the man!

I didn't think he had it in him.

But yesterday, Senator Mar Roxas, one of the most prolific presidential aspirants for the 2010 elections, relinquished his bid for the presidency to give way to fellow Liberal Party member Senator Noynoy Aquino. In a press conference held at Club Filipino last evening, Roxas declared:

"I do this for unity in support of change. And if that means somebody must make the sacrifice, it must be me."

In spite of my developed distrust of Philippine politicians, I was genuinely impressed by this show of selflessness, humility, and patriotism. This is something we don't see everyday, a government leader setting aside personal ambition for the greater good of the nation. Never mind if this might have been a calculated move on Mar's part-- I'm sure he still has some vested interests in all this. The point is, he still made the tougher choice: even after months of preparations, millions spent on advertising, and extensive media mileage milked to spotlight his engagement to Korina Sanchez, he threw all that out the window and stepped aside for Noynoy. Mar manned up, and heeded not only the call of the people, but also the call of destiny, and what makes his acquiescence so admirable is that the destiny in question is not even his own.
That took significant internal (and testicular) fortitude, and I sincerely respect him for that.

Last year I wrote about the deplorable state of our country's politics, and lamented that we don't have someone like Barack Obama to inspire us and renew our faith in the system again. With Mar Roxas' big decision, I suddenly feel a spark of hope for the future of the Philippines. Noynoy may not be our Obama, but at least for now, Mar's act of sacrifice strikes me as decidedly Obama-esque in its class and character. Dare I say this could be the start of "change we can believe in"?

Noynoy has yet to formally announce that he will indeed run for president next year, but with Mar's withdrawal, it's pretty much a foregone conclusion. I fully expect Noynoy to pick Mar to be his running mate, and I fully intend to vote for that tandem. For the first time, I am excited about the 2010 elections, and the potential, the possibilities and the promise of a better Philippines they could bring... that true statesmen and true gentlemen like Noynoy and Mar could bring.

Aquino-Roxas in 2010!


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