A flicker of light in these days of darkness.
This is what Mar Roxas has ushered the nation when he announced yesterday through a pre-taped video message which he shared in his official Facebook account that he is setting aside his semi-retirement from politics to offer his services once more to the Filipino people.
Roxas, a former senator who topped the senatorial race in 2004, said that he had to undergo an examination of conscience and discernment before making a decision.
Calling it a crisis of conscience, Roxas had to consider the advice of family and friends who were discouraging him to rejoin the political arena.
“Maraming pumapayo: Naku pinapahirapan mo lang ang sarili mo. Magiging target ka nanaman ngkasinungalingan at fake news. Magiging punching bag ka nanaman,” he remarked.
The former Cabinet secretary of three past administrations admitted that he was enjoying quality and quiet time with his family. But it seemed that the call to serve the public once again prevailed.
“Mahal ko ba ang bansa natin? Oo. May maituttulong ba ako? Oo. Apart from disappointment, may dahilan ba na ipagkait ko ang tulong ko sa mga nangangailangan? Wala. Apart from pride, may dahilan ba na hindi ako mag-extend ng helping hand? Wala,” Roxas quipped.
However, in the said video, he did not expressly and clearly state that he is running for public office and for what position.
But this morning, without fanfare and drama, accompanied only by a lone lawyer, he was the first one to file a certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator ending months of speculation of whether he will join the 2019 midterm elections.
Allies and supporters were elated by his decision to seek public office.
Vice-President Leni Robredo said that because for his love for country, Roxas is ready to serve and fight for the people once again.
Roxas and Robredo were the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of the then ruling Liberal Party during the 2016 national election. Robredo won by a slim margin over her closest rival, former senator Bongbong Marcos, while Roxas placed second to President Rodrigo Duterte.
Former Akbayan party-list representative Barry Gutierrez who served as spokesperson for the Roxas-Robredo tandem in the 2016 campaign had a mixed feeling about this development.
Gutierrez said that while he is happy that Roxas has opted to run for the Senate, a part of him is sad as the man who has given so much for the country is asked by circumstances to give more.
Marikina District Representative Miro Quimbo, considered as the leader of the real minority block in the lower house, shared his elation over Roxas’ decision to reenter Philippine politics.
“While he’s long decided to retire from public service, the call of the times beckons his talent to comeback,” Quimbo tweeted.
Senator Kiko Pangilinan, incumbent president of the Liberal Party, said that Roxas and the rest of the candidates of the political opposition are united by a common and basic value, that is the sense of duty and of not quitting on the country.
Pangilinan also shared his optimism brought about by the decision of Roxas to be part of the opposition slate for the Senate.
“Mar Roxas is a stalwart of the Liberal Party, Now that he’s on board, the opposition coalition enters the elections with even firmer resolve,” Pangilinan declared.
Expectedly, the supporters of Roxas in particular and of the opposition in general were in a celebratory mood. They took over Twitter where #MarRoxas has trended for two consecutive days. His video message has reached 2.3 million views in just twenty-four hours and has been shared almost 30,000 times.
Roxas has provided us with a reason to fight and push back despite the madness and negativity.
He just gave the Filipino people a glimmer of hope in this time of despair.