The Vote 2010: Manuel 'MAR' Araneta Roxas

The Vote 2010: Manuel ‘MAR’ Araneta Roxas
The Philippine Star

Manuel ‘MAR’ Araneta Roxas

II Liberal Party

Born: May 13, 1957

Children: Paolo, 16

Civil status: Married to broadcaster Korina Sanchez-Roxas

Parents: Sen. Gerry Roxas (†) and Judy Araneta-Roxas

Educational attainment: Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, BS Economics (1974-1979); Ateneo de Manila High School (1970-1974); Ateneo de Manila Grade School (1962-1970)

Previous employment: Investment banker in New York

State of wealth: I’m much poorer now with the campaign.

State of health: Okay. I should take the BP of your nurse because he’s the one panting.

Medications: Multi-vitamins; Lipitor,  thrice a week

In between interviewing presidential aspirants, The Philippine STAR is also helping readers get to know the candidates for vice president. Called the spare tire, the vice president is the constitutional successor in case the president is incapacitated or, as in 2001, ousted from office. Again in no particular order, The STAR is starting this series on the men (and woman) who want to be vice president.

Blood pressure: 120/80.

How do you see the role of the vice president?

The vice president receives his own mandate. He must always be mindful that his employer is the people, and not the president. This would ensure that he is not a “yes” person. True, any executive position that the VP may receive is at the pleasure of the president, but that does not mean that his employer is the president.

He should not be part of the tribe of the president and should always be mindful not to be co-opted just to get along. I think the most important role that the VP can perform for the president is to tell him the God-honest, untarnished, unvarnished truth, because he cannot be fired.

Will you be a high-profile vice president or will you stay in the shadows?

The circumstances will determine that. Being high-profile advances your advocacies. Nobody will know what you want to do if they do not know you. What is important is you do not undermine (the president or the other Cabinet members). A VP has to be secure enough not to have to play politics with the other Cabinet members.

Will you ask for a Cabinet position? Which one?

I have not asked for one; I won’t ask for it. I have been conscious not to ask for it. It’s not like we are swapping things here… let’s not degrade this. Having come from the private sector, we have this tradition not to “queer” about it.

It’s a little like “been there, done that,” although I have served at the DTI (Department of Trade and Industry) and I have a lot of ideas. I want to make sure Noynoy Aquino’s administration succeeds. So if his administration needs me, that’s where I’ll go. I don’t need a department to advance my advocacy.

Will you be a traveling VP? Which countries will be your priority destinations?

No… I will be constantly at my supposed workplace. The only exception probably is when the travel is justified.

If you were the vice president in January 2001, would you have taken over from Joseph Estrada?

I don’t think that there’s a choice, it’s not the vice president’s choice, it’s not anybody’s choice. You have a job to do. I haven’t looked at the Constitution lately but as I recall, if there’s incapacity, inability to serve, if for whatever legal reason, the president is unable to serve or to perform his duty, then it’s not a question of choice, of whether you like it or not.

It’s your duty, in fact, that’s why the people put you there. So I don’t want to speculate on what I would or would not have done in 2001, but that would be the framework – it’s your duty.

If you were the vice president in 2005 and the Hyatt 10 had asked you to take over from President Arroyo, would you have agreed?

I don’t have to make that choice. I believe in the rule of law and we should follow the legal process and what the Constitution says about these things.

If I were the vice president at that time, I would simply ask the President to explain before the people. The President owes it to the country to explain and I would ask her to do so.

If you and the elected president come from different parties, what will your role be?

I am of the mind that Noynoy Aquino will be the next president of the Philippines.

Karen Ang

A plebeian who is trying to make small changes in this world.