Roxas Quits Philippines Presidential Race to Give Way to Aquino
The prospects of another Aquino taking the helm in the Philippines loom large as Senator Mar Roxas, the erstwhile presidential candidate of the Liberal Party, withdrew from the race to allow his best friend, Senator Noynoy Aquino, the only son of the late President Corazon Aquino, to take his place and lead their party to victory in 2010.
Senator Noynoy Aquino’s candidacy in the 2010 presidential election in the Philippines solidified on Tuesday, September 1, as the erstwhile standard bearer of his Liberal Party, Senator Mar Roxas, declared that he is giving way to Aquino to lead their party to victory next year.
Liberal Party President Senator Mar Roxas (left) and partymate Senator Noynoy Aquino smile during their press conference in San Juan City on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009.
At a press conference in San Juan City, Roxas said he is dropping his presidential bid, a “sacrifice” that he said he must do to save the Philippines from the “evil forces” reigning in the country.
“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 make the power for the forces to unite,” Roxas said.
Aquino was at the press conference but did not say a word. Party leaders said he would make an important announcement on Wednesday.
Roxas did not make clear whether he is sliding down as the party’s vice presidential bet.
Earlier, another likely presidential candidate, Pampanga Governor Ed Panlilio, declared that he would abandon his quest and throw his support to Aquino once the latter decides to run for president.
Earlier, messages from ordinary Filipinos poured in for Aquino to run for president in 2010. As of Tuesday morning, letters urging Aquino to run started accumulating in a large drum that a group placed near Aquino’s Quezon City residence.
“Throw your hat in the ring, Noynoy, we placed our bets on you,” one of the messages read.
“Take courage now. We have laid our bet on you. You are not alone,” another message read.
Several motorists and passersby stopped and wrote messages urging Aquino to run.
Prior to Roxas’ announcement, Aquino had hinted he may announce his political plans earlier than Sept. 9, the 40th day after the death of his mother, former President Corazon Aquino.