An earlier statement by Mar Roxas that he does not need the votes of Filipino Overseas Workers (OFWs) to win the May election will farther inflict a heavy toll on the already losing presidential bid of the standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party.
Roxas made the boast at the height of the Laglag Bala (Bullet Planting) scandal at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).
The racket involved corrupt airport employees and security personnel who “plant” live bullets in the luggage of airplane passengers who are later extorted when the ammunition is “discovered” by X-ray machines.
Many of the victims, who cough up large sum to get off being charged with violation, were OFWs.
The militant Migrante, an international association of OFWs, slammed Laglag Bala as part of the Aquino government’s incompetence in protecting the OFWs.
As the Aquino administration was being severely criticized for the airport racket that sparked negative publicity worldwide, Roxas, former Interior secretary of President Benigno Aquino, said OFWs knew it was a crime to bring bullets into the airport and should not be blaming the government if they are found to have ammunition in their luggage.
Roxas said OFWs have right to vote any candidate adding he would not shed a tear if they pick his rivals.
Roxas’ statement triggered a storm of criticism from the OFWs.
Migrante said it would launch a “Laglag Roxas” campaign worldwide to frustrate the presidential bid of Roxas.
Under the Overseas Voting Act, overseas Filipinos numbering more than a million registered by the Commission on Election (Comelec) are allowed to vote in the May election.
Migrante said the “Laglag Roxas” campaign generated strong support from the OFWs.
But OFWs may no longer need to push the campaign hard to stop a Roxas presidency.
Aggregated results of pre-poll surveys by prestigious pollsters Social Weather Stations (SWS), Pulse Asia and Laylo have already doomed Roxas’ presidential bid.
The survey results showed a statistical tie at third place between Roxas (20%) and Vice President Jejomar Binay (19%).
Top running Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte leads the race with 33% against second placer Senator Grace Poe’s 22%.