Archive for March, 2016


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Senator of the Philippines
Assumed office
June 30, 2004
In office
June 30, 1995 – June 30, 2001
Secretary of Agrarian Reform
In office
July 20, 1989 – January 4, 1990
President Corazon Aquino
Preceded by Philip Juico
Succeeded by Florencio Abad
Personal details
Born Miriam Palma Defensor
June 15, 1945 (age 70)
Iloilo City, Philippines
Political party People’s Reform Party
Spouse(s) Narciso Santiago, Jr.
Alma mater University of the Philippines, Visayas (BA)
University of the Philippines, Diliman (BL)
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (ML)
Maryhill School of Theology
Religion Roman Catholicism
Website Official website

Miriam Defensor Santiago (born June 15, 1945) is a Filipino politician, notable for having served in all three branches of the Philippine government – judicial, executive, and legislative. Santiago was named one of The 100 Most Powerful Women in the World in 1997 by The Australian magazine.[1] In 1988, she was named laureate of the Ramon Magsaysay Award for government service, with a citation “for bold and moral leadership in cleaning up a corrupt-ridden government agency.”[2][3][4][5] She ran in the 1992 presidential elections but was defeated in an election marred by allegations of impropriety by the victor.[6]

In 2012, she became the first Filipina and the first Asian from a developing country to be elected a judge of the International Criminal Court.[7][8] She later resigned the post, citing chronic fatigue syndrome, which turned out to be lung cancer.[9][10] In 2016, Santiago was invited to be part of the International Advisory Council of the International Development Law Organization (IDLO), an intergovernmental body that promotes the rule of law.[11] She has also written books covering topics in law and the social sciences. She has served three terms in the Philippine Senate.


Early life

Santiago was born in Iloilo City to a judge and a dean. She is the eldest of seven children. Santiago was a child prodigy, winning the high school spelling bee as a freshman and then for the next three years. She graduated valedictorian in grade school, high school, undergraduate school, and law school in the Diliman campus (at that time separate from the Manila campus).[12]

In 1965, Santiago graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science, magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines Visayas. After graduation, she was elected to the Pi Gamma Mu and Phi Kappa Phi honor societies.[13]

Santiago proceeded to the University of the Philippines College of Law. There, she was champion in numerous oratorical contests and debates.[1] She became the first female editor of the student newspaper, The Philippine Collegian, and was twice appointed ROTC muse.[14][15]

She graduated Bachelor of Laws, cum laude, from the University of the Philippines College of Law. Santiago went on a fellowship to the United States, and earned the degrees Master of Laws and Doctor of Juridical Science degrees at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She finished both degrees in a period of only one and a half years.[16] Following school she took a position as special assistant to the justice secretary. She also taught political science at the Trinity University of Asia. She was law professor at the University of the Philippines, teaching evening classes for some ten years.[17][18]

She has studied at several universities, including Oxford and Harvard law summer schools; Cambridge; and The Hague Academy of International Law. She earned the degree Master of Religious Studies (without thesis) at the Maryhill School of Theology.[1]

In Oxford, Cambridge, she was a Research Fellow at St. Hilda’s College. She also took a summer program in law at St. Edmund’s Hall, Oxford. At Cambridge, she was a Research Fellow at the Lauterpacht Research Centre for International Law.

In 1970, she married Narciso Yap Santiago. They had two sons, but one died in college. They have five grandchildren.

Legal career

United Nations lawyer

After a stint of ten years at the justice department, Santiago served as Legal Officer of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees at Geneva, Switzerland. She was assigned to the Conferences and Treaties Section. She became skilled at treaty negotiation and drafting. She resigned her position when her father in the Philippines developed prostate cancer.[19]

Quezon City judge

Santiago was appointed judge of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Metro Manila by President Ferdinand Marcos – the youngest judge appointed to Metro Manila. Further, she was exempted from the practice of first serving as a judge outside Metro Manila.[5]

As RTC judge, she quickly proclaimed a “no postponement” policy. At that time, cases were tried in segments that were usually a month apart, resulting in trials that took years to finish. Lawyers were prone to seek postponement of trial. As a result, trial judges scheduled ten or fifteen cases a day, so that they could make up for cases postponed.

Santiago scheduled only five cases a day, and heard each case, and disposed of the highest number of cases in her first year in office.

She became nationally famous when she issued perhaps the first decision to rule against martial law. At that time, alleged illegal public assemblies were declared as crimes and were punishable by death. A large group of activist students from the University of the Philippines and Ateneo, as well as activists in the film industry, staged a rally in a central business district, and denounced the First Lady for her excesses. To retaliate, Marcos issued a Preventive Detention Action order which authorized the military to hold suspects indefinitely, without bail. The students faced the dire prospect of missing their final exams and, for many of them, missing graduation.

Santiago suspended hearings on all other pending cases, and conducted whole-day trials. In the end, ordered the military to allow the students to post bail. After promulgating her decision at the end of the day, Santiago drove herself to the state university, where she was teaching law.

The Philippine Jaycees, the Philippine Lions, and the YMCA Philippines all gave her awards for judicial excellence.[1]

Political career

Aquino cabinet

After martial law, in 1988, President Corazon Aquino appointed Santiago as commissioner of immigration and deportation.[1] At that time, the Commission (CID) was one of the most corrupt government agencies in Southeast Asia. Santiago declared the Philippines as “the fake passport capital of the world,” and directed raids against criminal syndicates, including the Yakuza. She filled the CID detention center with alien criminals, and ordered construction of another detention center. She extended to legal aliens protection from widespread extortion by requesting President Aquino to issue an executive order that authorized the “alien legalization program.”[20]

She received serious death threats, but proclaimed: “I eat death threats for breakfast.”[1][21] A member of the House of Representatives delivered a privilege speech and denounced her raids against pedophile communities in Central Luzon ran by alien pedophiles. Santiago responded by calling him “fungus face.”[1][22]

The Rockefeller Foundation named her a laureate of the Magsaysay Award for government service – “for bold and moral leadership in cleaning up a graft-ridden government agency.” The Magsaysay Award is the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize.[2][3][4][5]

President Corazon Aquino promoted Santiago to member of her cabinet, as secretary of the Secretary of Agrarian Reform.[23][24] Under a controversial law passed by Congress and signed by President Aquino, all agricultural landholdings were taken by the government and divided among the farmers. Each landowner was allowed to keep only five hectares, and each farmer received three hectares. Payment was in bonds of the Land Bank.

To subvert the law, big landowners applied for conversion of the classification of their land as agricultural, to classification as commercial, residential, or industrial. The process became the widespread “conversion scandal of agrarian reform.” The DAR officials themselves were the biggest culprits, because they sold conversion permits for bribes on a market rate set at certain amounts per hectare involved in the conversion.

Santiago stopped the conversion scandal, and appeased the landowners by enhancing the incentives for voluntary offers by the landowners for the sale of their landholdings, which entitled them to an additional five percent cash payment.

When asked if the hacienda belonging to the president’s family should be covered by agrarian reform, Santiago replied that the family’s hacienda should be distributed among the farmers. Shortly thereafter President Aquino accepted Santiago’s resignation.[25]

Election, 1992

Santiago organized the People’s Reform Party (PRP) and ran with a senatorial ticket during the 1992 presidential campaign.

While campaigning on April 28, 1991, Santiago was severely injured in car crash,[26] which she described as assassination attempt.[27] She was wearing a white bush jacket, which became splattered with blood that gushed from a wound in her head. On orders of President Aquino, she was airlifted from Tarlac to a Manila hospital. She underwent surgery on the jaw, and at one point a Catholic priest administered the last rites of the dying. Two months later, she was back on the campaign trail.[28]

Santiago was leading the canvassing of votes for the first five days.[6] Following a string of power outages, the tabulation concluded, and Ramos was declared president-elect. Santiago filed a protest before the Supreme Court as electoral tribunal, citing the power outages during the counting of votes as evidence of massive fraud. Her election protest was eventually dismissed on a technicality.[1][21][23][29][30]

The public outrage over the presidential results prompted Newsweek to feature her and her rival on the cover with the question: “Was the Election Fair?” In another cover story, Philippines Free Press magazine asked: “Who’s the Real President?”[1]


She was first elected senator in 1995.[31] During her three terms, she served as chair mostly of the foreign relations committee and the constitutional amendments committee. She was elected as official candidate of her People’s Reform Party, hence she also served as chair of the foreign affairs committee of the Commission on Appointments.

Select laws authored

  • Reproductive Health Act of 2012[32]
  • Sin Tax Law[33]
  • Climate Change Act of 2009[34]
  • Renewable Energy Act of 2008[35]
  • Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law[36]
  • Magna Carta of Women[37]
  • Cybercrime Act of 2012[38]
  • Archipelagic Baselines Act of 2009[39]

Election, 2016

Main article: Miriam Defensor Santiago presidential campaign, 2016

In October 2015, Santiago announced her intention to run for presidency in the 2016 Philippine presidential elections.[28][40] She later confirmed that Senator Bongbong Marcos would serve as her running mate for Vice President.[41]

Awards and honors

  • Magsaysay Award for Government Service, 1988, Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize, Magsaysay Awards Foundation[5]
  • TOYM Award for Law, 1985 (The Outstanding Young Men) Opened to Women 1984, Philippine Jaycees
  • TOWNS Award for Law, 1986 (The Outstanding Women in the Nation’s Service), Philippine Lions
  • Philippine Judges’ Hall of Fame, 2015, Philippine Judges Association[42]
  • Most Outstanding Alumna in Law, University of the Philippines, 1988[13]
  • Gold Vision Triangle Award for government service, 1988, YMCA Philippines
  • Republic Anniversary Award for law enforcement, 1988, Civic Assembly of Women of the Philippines
  • Golden Jubilee Achievement Award for public service, 1990, Girl Scouts of the Philippines
  • Celebrity Mother Award, 1991, Gintong Ina Awards Foundation
  • Spain – Grand Cross of the Order of Civil Merit (November 30, 2007) [43]


Santiago has written at least 30 books, many of which are about law and social sciences.[1] Among her works is the Code Annotated Series Project 2000, a series of books about laws passed by the Philippine Congress and Supreme Court decisions. The Code Annotated Series is the main part of Santiago’s Legal Outreach Program.[44] During her initial battle with cancer, she continued to work on the 2014 edition of all her law books.[45] These were published as the 2015 edition of her Code Annotated Series, by Rex Bookstore.[46]

The doctoral dissertation Santiago wrote for the University of Michigan was published as a book named Political Offences in International Law.[47] Santiago has also written two autobiographies, Inventing Myself[48] and Cutting Edge: The Politics of Reform in the Philippines.[49]

Santiago also published a joke book in 2014 entitled Stupid is Forever, a collection of jokes, comebacks, one-liners, and pick-up lines she used in speeches.[50] A sequel entitled Stupid is Forevermore was published a year later. Both books were published by ABS-CBN Publishing.[51] The first book was named the best-selling book of 2014, selling about 110,000 copies in one month.[52]


  1. “Sen. Miriam’s ‘stupid’ book now a bestseller”. GMA News. 25 January 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2016.





Bongbong Marcos

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



Senator of the Philippines
Assumed office
June 30, 2010
Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from Ilocos Norte‘s Second District
In office
June 30, 2007 – June 30, 2010
Preceded by Imee Marcos
Succeeded by Imelda Marcos
In office
June 30, 1992 – June 30, 1995
Preceded by Mariano R. Nalupta, Jr.
Succeeded by Simeon M. Valdez
Governor of Ilocos Norte
In office
June 30, 1998 – June 30, 2007
Preceded by Rodolfo C. Fariñas
Succeeded by Michael Marcos Keon
In office
Preceded by Elizabeth M. Keon
Succeeded by Rodolfo C. Fariñas
Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte
In office
Personal details
Born Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr.[1]
September 13, 1957 (age 58)
Manila, Philippines
Political party Nacionalista (2009-present)
Other political
KBL (1980–2009)
Spouse(s) Louise Araneta Marcos
Children Ferdinand Alexander Marcos III
Joseph Simon Marcos
William Vincent Marcos[2]
Religion Roman Catholicism

Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, Jr. (born September 13, 1957), widely known as Bongbong Marcos, is a Filipino politician and senator in the 16th Congress of the Philippines. He is the second child and only son of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos and former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos.

Marcos served as Governor of Ilocos Norte (1983–1986, 1998–2007) and as Representative of the Second District of Ilocos Norte (1992–1995, 2007–2010) under Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, the political party founded by his father. He was also Deputy Minority Leader during his second term in the House of Representatives.[3] In 2010, Marcos was elected as Senator of the Philippines under the Nacionalista Party. Senator Marcos chairs several senate committees, including the Committee on Local Government and the Committee on Public Works, and is a member of several other committees.[4]

On October 5, 2015, Marcos announced his candidacy for Vice President of the Philippines in the 2016 election.[5]



Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. was born on September 13, 1957 to then Representative Ferdinand E. Marcos and Imelda Remedios Visitacion Romualdez. He studied in Institucion Teresiana and La Salle Greenhills in Manila, where he obtained his kindergarten and elementary education, respectively.

Nicknamed ‘Bongbong’, Marcos starred in his father’s true-to-life story film, Iginuhit ng Tadhana, as himself, along with Vilma Santos as his sister Imee Marcos, Luis Gonzales as his father and Gloria Romero as his mother.[6] The film was released before the 1965 Philippine Elections in which his father, who was senator at that time, was elected President of the Philippines.

In 1970, Marcos was sent to England where he lived and studied at Worth School an all-boys Benedictine institution. Thereafter, he pursued his undergraduate degree. His résumé claims he graduated with a Special Diploma in Social Studies from Oxford University in England.[7] although no record of his graduation has been found at the university.

Marcos enrolled in the Masters in Business Administration program at the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, U.S. However, he was unable to complete the course because of his election as Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte in 1980.[8]

Political career


The political career of Bongbong Marcos started with his election as Vice Governor of Ilocos Norte (1980–1983) at the young age of 23. In 1983, he led a group of young Filipino leaders on a 10-day diplomatic mission to China to mark the 10th anniversary of Philippine-Chinese relations.[9] Marcos succeeded as Governor of Ilocos Norte (1983–1986) which he served until the People Power Revolution ousted his family from power. He then lived in political exile with his family in Hawaii, US.[10]

Congress, first term

Bongbong Marcos was among the first of his family to return to the Philippines in 1991. A year later, he was elected as representative of the second district of Ilocos Norte (1992–1995).[11] During his term, Marcos was the author of 29 House bills and co-author of 90 more, which includes those that paved the way for the creation of the Department of Energy and the National Youth Commission.[12] He was also instrumental in advancing the cause of cooperatives by devoting most of his Countryside Development Fund (CDF) to organizing the cooperatives of teachers and farmers in his home province.[13][14] In 1995, Marcos ran for a seat in the Philippine Senate but lost.[15]

Ilocos Norte governor

Marcos was again elected as Governor of Ilocos Norte in 1998, running against his father’s closest friend and ally, Roque Ablan Jr. He will serve for three consecutive terms ending in 2007.[16] During his tenure, Governor Marcos transformed Ilocos Norte into a first-class province of international acclaim, by showcasing its natural and cultural destinations. He also pioneered the wind power technology that serves as an alternative source of energy in Ilocos Norte and other parts of Luzon.[17][18][19][20]

Congress, second term

In 2007, Marcos ran unopposed for the congressional seat previously held by his older sister Imee.[21] He is then appointed as Deputy Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. During this term, one of the important pieces of legislation he authored was the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law, or Republic Act No. 9522.[22][23] He also promoted the Republic Act No. 9502 (Universally Accessible Cheaper and Quality Medicines Act) which was enacted on 2009.[24]


Main article: Miriam Defensor-Santiago presidential campaign, 2016

Further information: Philippine Senate election, 2010

Further information: Philippine presidential election, 2016





Marcos was elected as a Senator in the 2010 Elections, placing seventh overall. As of February 2016, he is the chairman of the Senate committees on local government and public works. He also chairs the oversight committee on the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Organic Act, the congressional oversight panel on the Special Purpose Vehicle Act, and a select oversight committee on barangay affairs.[25]

In the 15th Congress (2010–2013), Marcos was the author of 34 Senate bills and was co-author of 17 more, 7 of which became Republic Acts. Among them are the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act, the Cybercrime Prevention Act, the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, and the National Health Insurance Act.[26]

In the 16th Congress (2013–2016), Marcos has authored 52 bills, with one enacted into law. His Senate Bill 1186, which sought the postponement of the 2013 Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections, later became Republic Act 10632 on October 3, 2013.[27][28]

Marcos has also co-authored 4 Senate bills. One of them, Senate Bill 712, was approved as Republic Act 10645 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.[29]

On November 20, 2009, the KBL forged an alliance with the Nacionalista Party (NP) between Marcos and NP chairman Senator Manny Villar at the Laurel House in Mandaluyong City. Marcos became a guest senatorial candidate of the NP through this alliance.[30] Marcos was later removed as a member by the KBL National Executive Committee on November 23, 2012.[31] As such, the NP broke its alliance with the KBL due to internal conflicts within the party, however Bongbong remained part of the NP senatorial line-up.[30] He was proclaimed as one of the winning senatorial candidates of the 2010 senate elections. He took office on June 30, 2010.

Vice-presidential bid, 2016

On October 5, 2015, Marcos announced via his website his candidacy for Vice President of the Philippines in the 2016 presidential election stating “I have decided to run for Vice President in the May 2016 elections.”[5][32] Marcos is running as an independent candidate.[33] Prior to his announcement, Marcos had declined an invitation by presidential candidate, Vice President Jejomar Binay, to become his running mate.[34] On October 15, presidential candidate Miriam Defensor Santiago confirmed that Marcos would serve as her running mate.[35]


Criticisms have been leveled at Marcos for being unapologetic for human rights violations[36] and ill-gotten wealth[37] during his father‘s administration.[38][39][40][41]

On February 2016, Marcos answered his critics by stating:[42][43][44]

Ipaubaya natin ang kasaysayan sa mga propesor, sa mga nag-aaral tungkol sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas. Kami hindi namin trabaho yun. Ang trabaho namin ay tingnan kung ano ba ang pangangailangan ng taong bayan ngayon.” (Let us leave history to the professors, to those who study the history of the Philippines. It is not our job. Our job is to look at what the people need at present.)

In response, over 500 faculty, staff and history professors from Ateneo de Manila University released the following statement:[45][46][47][48][49]

“In response to Ferdinand “Bongbong” Romualdez Marcos, Jr.’s call that teachers and students of history should make a judgment about the Marcos administration, we, the undersigned members of the Ateneo de Manila community, vehemently oppose and condemn the ongoing willful distortion of our history. We deplore the shameless refusal to acknowledge the crimes of the Martial Law regime. We reject the revision of history, disturbing vision of the future, and shallow call for “unity” being presented by Marcos Jr. and like-minded candidates in the 2016 elections.

The Marcos regime’s economics of debt-driven growth was disastrous for the Philippines. The regime was not interested in inclusive development, long-term state-building, nor genuine social transformation of the country, despite its “New Society” rhetoric. Instead, Marcos was mainly concerned with perpetuating his personal hold on power by favoring family members, friends, and other cronies. Thus, Marcos simply created new elites or “oligarchs” rather than abolish them — supposedly one of his main justifications for declaring martial law. Those who dared challenge the regime’s monopoly on power, whether politicians, business people, political activists, organized labor, peasants or urban poor, Church workers, students — young or old, rich or poor — were intimidated, imprisoned, kidnapped, tortured or summarily executed.

We refuse to forget the atrocities committed by the Marcos regime, and we renew our demand that the perpetrators of these crimes be brought to justice. We also reiterate our position that the government should relentlessly pursue and reclaim all the ill-gotten wealth accumulated by the Marcos family and its cronies. Moreover, victims and their families should be given justice and compensation in full. Any call for unity, most especially from the heirs of the Marcos regime which bitterly divided the country, will be empty and meaningless unless truth and justice are upheld.”

To this, Marcos replied: “…people have their own opinion; they have the right to their opinion. We’ll agree to disagree, I guess.”[50]

On March 7, 2016, more than 1,400 Catholic Schools through the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) joined the call of the Ateneo faculty through a statement titled “CEAP Supports Call Against Marcosian Snares and Imeldific Lies.” In it, they stated:[51][52]

“The Trustees of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines, representing the 1,425 CEAP member-schools, colleges, and universities, support the faculty of the Ateneo de Manila University in their call against the attempt of Ferdinand Marcos Jr to canonize the harrowing horrors of martial rule,”

“With the same fervor, we cry our hearts out, ‘Never Again!’”

Personal life

He is married to Louise Cacho Araneta, with 3 sons: Ferdinand Alexander III (born 1994), Joseph Simon (born 1995) and William Vincent (born 1997).


  1. “1,400 Catholic schools slam ‘Marcos snares, Imeldific lies'”. ABS-CBN News. March 8, 2016.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


This name uses Philippine naming customs; the middle name or maternal family name is Araneta and the surname or paternal family name is Roxas.

24th Secretary of the Interior and Local Government
In office
September 19, 2012 – September 14, 2015
President Benigno Aquino III
Preceded by Paquito Ochoa (Acting)
Succeeded by Mel Senen Sarmiento
38th Secretary of Transportation and Communications
In office
July 4, 2011 – October 18, 2012
President Benigno Aquino III
Preceded by Jose de Jesus
Succeeded by Joseph Emilio Abaya
Senator of the Philippines
In office
June 30, 2004 – June 30, 2010
26th Secretary of Trade and Industry
In office
January 2, 2000 – December 10, 2003
President Joseph Estrada
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Preceded by Jose Pardo
Succeeded by Cesar Purisima
Member of the House of Representatives
Capiz‘s 1st district
In office
May 1, 1993 – January 2, 2000
Preceded by Gerardo Roxas, Jr.
Succeeded by Rodriguez Dadivas
Personal details
Born Manuel Araneta Roxas II
May 13, 1957 (age 58)
Quezon City, Philippines
Political party Liberal Party
Spouse(s) Korina Sanchez (m. 2009)
Children Paolo Roxas
Alma mater University of Pennsylvania (BA)
Website Official website

Manuel “Mar” Araneta Roxas II (born May 13, 1957) is a Filipino politician and the grandson of former Philippine President Manuel Roxas. He is a candidate in the 2016 Philippine presidential election. He served in the Cabinet of the Philippines as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government from 2012 to 2015. Previously, he was the Secretary of Trade and Industry from 2000 to 2003, a Senator from 2004 to 2010, and Secretary of Transportation and Communications from 2011 to 2012. He is the son of former Senator Gerry Roxas.

After gaining[1][2] a Bachelor of Science in Economics degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxas worked as an investment banker in New York, mobilizing venture capital funds for small and medium enterprises. He served as the Representative of the 1st District of Capiz from 1993 to 2000. His stint as Congressman was cut short after he was appointed by President Joseph Estrada as Secretary of Trade and Industry.[3] He resigned from the position at the height of the EDSA Revolution of 2001 and was later re-appointed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in her new Cabinet.[4] He resigned again to run for a Senate seat in the 2004 Philippine election.[5] He was elected as Senator with 19 million votes and the highest ever garnered by a national candidate in any Philippine election. He was co-author of the Expanded Value Added Tax Law (E-Vat).[6]

Initially one of the leading contenders in the 2010 presidential election, he slid down to become a vice-presidential candidate in order to make way for fellow Senator Benigno Aquino III, who eventually won. He was defeated by Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) by the narrowest margin in the history of the Fifth Republic. However, Roxas filed an electoral protest with the Supreme Court of the Philippines, the Court sitting as Presidential Electoral Tribunal.[7] On June 7, 2011, President Aquino appointed Roxas as the new Secretary of Transportation and Communications to replace outgoing Secretary Jose de Jesus, and he took office on July 4, 2011.[8] Afterwards, on August 31, 2012, President Aquino nominated him as Secretary of Interior and Local Government, replacing Jesse Robredo, who died in a plane crash.

Roxas is the standard-bearer of the Liberal Party for the 2016 presidential elections in the Philippines. On July 31, 2015, at an event dubbed as “A Gathering of Friends”, he was officially endorsed by President Benigno Aquino III to continue the present administration’s reforms, collectively dubbed Daang Matuwid (“straight path”). In the presence of their political allies at Club Filipino, where Roxas had announced his decision to withdraw from the 2010 presidential election to give way for Aquino’s presidential bid in 2010, Roxas formally accepted his party’s nomination.[9][10][11] On August 3, 2015, Roxas officially tendered his resignation as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government in order to focus on his presidential campaign.[12]


Early life

Manuel “Mar” Araneta Roxas II was born on May 13, 1957, in Manila, Philippines, to Judy Araneta of Bago, Negros Occidental, and Gerardo Roxas (1924–1982) of Capiz. Roxas’ father was a Senator (1963–1972) and the only son of Manuel Roxas, the first President of the Third Philippine Republic (1946–48), and Trinidad de Leon. The couple married in 1955.[13] He has two siblings namely Maria Lourdes or Ria, married to Augusto Ojeda and mother of three and the late Congressman Gerardo “Dinggoy” Roxas, Jr. (1960–1993).[14]


Roxas attended the Ateneo de Manila University for grade school and high school, then attended the prestigious[15][16][17] [18] Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, majoring in finance and earning a Bachelor of Science degree in economics in 1979.[19] After graduation, he worked for seven years as an investment banker in New York, and became an assistant vice president of the New York-based Allen & Company.[20]

Following the 1985 announcement by President Ferdinand Marcos of a snap election, Roxas took leave of absence to join the presidential campaign of Corazon Aquino. In September 1986, President Corazon Aquino went to the United States. Roxas was one of those who organized a series of investment round-table discussions with the American business community. From 1986 onwards, Roxas visited the Philippines more frequently and proposed to Allen & Company to set up a branch in Asia, specifically in the Philippines; later his superiors agreed. In 1991, he was stationed in the Philippines with North Star Capitals, Inc. which took public the Jollibee fast food restaurant chain. In the United States, he participated in the first financing for Discovery Channel and Tri-Star Pictures.[21]

Political career


Roxas’ younger brother, Dinggoy, who represented the 1st District of Capiz, died of colon cancer in 1993. At the age of 33, he decided to run in the special election to replace his brother in the seat and won.[21] He later became Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.

His landmark laws include, among others:

  • Republic Act No. 8759 – establishing in all municipalities a Public Employment Service Office which serves as an employment facilitation and information center, and links all job opportunities within the region;
  • Republic Act No. 8748 – amending the Special Economic Zone Act by directly allocating to the municipality or city 2% (out of the 5%) gross tax to be collected from the establishments operating in the ecozone and providing for disturbance compensation for persons to be displaced or evicted by publicly owned ecozones;
  • Republic Act No. 8756 – incentivizing the establishment of regional headquarters to encourage investment and operation of multinational companies in the country and to generate more jobs.

His tenure in the House was most noted for his principal authorship of Republic Act No. 7880 (Roxas Law), which ensures fair distribution of the education capital budget among all the provinces. This started his advocacy for fair and equitable access to education, free from regional bias and political patronage considerations.[22]

Estrada cabinet

Roxas resigned from the House of Representatives following his appointment as Secretary of Trade and Industry under the Estrada administration in 2000, replacing Jose Pardo who was appointed Secretary of Finance.[23] During his stint, Roxas was named as Chairman of the Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Council, a body formed with the participation of both the government and private sector to monitor the implementation of the E-Commerce Law (Republic Act 8792) and programs pushing for the growth of IT-enabled services.[24][25] He resigned the position in November, as Estrada was under fire due to allegations of corruption.[26]

Arroyo cabinet

In January 2001, just days after Estrada had been overthrown, Roxas was re-appointed to the same office by newly installed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.[3] He was also temporarily designated by Arroyo to head the Department of Energy.[27]

During his four-year stint as DTI Secretary, he pushed for the development of the palengke (market) as the basic unit of the economy and the root of progress, advocating not only consumer welfare and protection but also sound trade and investment policies, particularly SME development.[22]


As a proponent of the philosophy of ‘palengkenomics’, which considers the “palengke” (wet market) as a microcosm of the economy, Roxas conducted weekly monitoring of the prices of prime commodities.

Among his projects were the following palengke-based programs which promoted supply chain efficiencies:

  1. Tamang Timbang, Tamang Presyo (Right Scale, Right Price) for consumers,
  2. Presyong Tama, Gamot Pampamilya (Right Price, Family Medicine) to make affordable and quality medicines accessible to Filipinos,
  3. Pinoy Pandesal,
  4. Palengke ng Bayan (Market of the Country)

Trade policy

His work regarding trade policy was highlighted during the 2003 WTO meeting in Cancún, Mexico, where he fought for increased market access for Philippine exports, particularly agricultural products and a rationalized Philippine trade regime so that domestic industries would not be harmed.[28]

Computers in schools

At a time where computer access was limited to an elite few, Roxas initiated the Personal Computers for Public Schools (PCPS) Program, which distributed over 30,000 computers to 2,000 public high schools all over the Philippines. PCPS computers provided 500,000 high school students with the necessary ICT tools and skills.[28][28]

Industry benefits and job creation

Roxas worked for the reopening of the National Steel Corporation which provided thousands of jobs, income and livelihood to Iligan City, Northern Mindanao and adjacent regions.

He initiated the Motor/Vehicle Development Program to promote exports, create a viable market base for Philippines car manufacturers and secure jobs.[28]

Roxas pushed for MSME development through the SULONG (SMEs Unified Lending Opportunities for National Growth) Program, which granted almost ₱26.7 billion on low-interest loans to 281,229 SMEs on its first year.[28]

Call centers, the BPO and IT industry

Roxas launched ‘Make I.T. Philippines’, I.T. standing for “Information Technology.” He organized the first IT-enabled services (ITES) to the United States.

He was named ‘Father of the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)’ market in the Philippines, particularly call center operations, by other politicians. From starting out with a mere 2000 jobs at the onset, the IT/BPO industry now provides hundreds of thousands of jobs in the Philippines.[29]

In the year 2000, Roxas was named Chairman of the Information Technology and Electronic Commerce Council. This institution, which was composed of members of the government and the private sector, was formed to monitor the implementation of the E-Commerce Law (Republic Act 8792) and programs pushing for the growth of IT-enabled services.[30][31]


On December 10, 2003, Roxas resigned from his post to prepare for his senatorial bid under the banner of the Liberal Party in the 2004 elections. Roxas said that he needed to separate his work in DTI from his work as a candidate and added that his resignation did not surprise the President. He was succeeded by Cesar Purisima, former chairman of the accounting firm Sycip Gorres Velayo & Co..[32]

Upon winning a seat in the 2004 Senate election, Roxas was proclaimed by the Commission on Elections as Senator-elect on May 24, 2004, and officially assumed the office at noon of June 30, 2004. He was elected under the Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan sa Kinabukasan (K-4) of President Arroyo.[33]

Roxas held assignments on the Senate Committee on Trade and Commerce and Senate Oversight Committee on Optical Media Board serving alongside Ramon Revilla, Jr..

Roxas authored 43 bills and 46 resolutions brought before the 13th Congress in July 2004 and 2007. He filed bills on fighting smuggling, supporting labor, education, economy, and alternative energy.

On February 26, 2006, the Philippines was under a state emergency after the government claimed that it foiled an alleged coup d’état attempt against the administration of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo earlier that same day. Two days later, Roxas called on the government to immediately revoke Proclamation No. 1017, saying it betrays its own vision of a strong republic and directly attack Philippine democracy.[34]

Roxas voted in favor of the Revised Value-Added Tax Law when it was deliberated in the Senate.[35] The law was co-authored by other Liberal Party members, Franklin Drilon and Francis Pangilinan. He also voted in favor of the abolition of the death penalty in the Philippines.[36]

Roxas voted against the Human Security Act together with Senator Jamby Madrigal saying that “the fight against terror requires urgent operational reforms over measures that could impair civil liberties“. He even warned that the said law poses a danger to the security and rights of every Filipino if there will be no set of implementing rules and regulations laid down.[37]

Roxas’ legislative agenda for the 14th Congress is as follows:

  • EVAT Funds for Education and Healthcare – He has filed Senate Bill No. 102 (People’s Fund Act) to ease the effect of the 12% E-VAT. The People’s Fund would consist of thirty percent (30%) of all proceeds from the VAT collected under Title IV of the National Internal Revenue Code. This portion estimates the share of incremental revenues from Republic Act No. 9337, the Expanded Value-Added Tax law, which increased to 12% the VAT and removed the exemption.[38]
  • Tax Exemption for Minimum Wage Earners – He has filed Senate Bill No. 103 (Individual Tax Exemption for Minimum Wage Earners Bill) to exempt minimum wage earners in the private sector and government workers in Salary Grades 1 to 3, amending certain provisions of Republic Act No. 8424, otherwise known as the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, as amended. As per estimates by the National Wages and Productivity Board, there are 7 million workers earning the minimum wage and even below. For him, it is unfair and unjust that the government, under the law, is taking away a portion of their already subsistence-level income.[39]
  • Amendments to the Roxas Law – He has filed Senate Bill No. 104 to amend Republic Act No. 7880, also known as the Fair and Equitable Access to Education Act, to eliminate the problem of classroom shortages in the Philippines, as well as enhancing the process of construction, rehabilitation, replacement, completion, and repair of needed school buildings and classrooms.[40]
  • Regulating the Pre-Need Industry – He has filed Senate Bill No. 105 (Pre-Need Industry Act of 2007) to address the absence of a statute that regulates the pre-need industry by establishing the Pre-Need Industry Act of 2007 to govern the operations of firms which issue or sell pre-need plans or similar contracts and investments.[41]
  • Anti-Smuggling Bill – He has filed Senate Bill No. 106 (Anti-Smuggling Act of 2007) to amend certain provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1464, otherwise known as the Tariff and Customs Code of the Philippines, as amended. Under the proposed bill, an Audit and Transparency Group under the Bureau of Customs, headed by a Deputy Commissioner, would regularly inspect and report on the bureau’s operational processes, collection and financial reporting, fiscal and personnel performance, system efficiency, internal control, information and communication flow, fraudulent and illegal practices and other related areas. On the basis of these inspections and reports, the Audit and Transparency Deputy Commissioner can initiate investigations of fraud and other graft and corrupt practices in the bureau, and shall recommend to the Office of the Ombudsman the filing of any cases against personnel and officers involved.[42]
  • Lemon Law – He has filed Senate Bill No. 107 (Lemon Law of 2007) to have a one-year period in which buyers of brand-new vehicles can avail of the provisions of this Lemon Law, which allows up to four repairs on the same defect before a replacement or refund of the vehicle can be claimed. For him, it would ensure that the investment on a vehicle is money well-spent.[43]
  • SME Magna Carta – He has filed Senate Bill No. 108 (Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises) to strengthen Republic Act No. 6977, the Magna Carta for Small Enterprises. The focus of the amendments of this bill focuses on three points: guidelines, institutional support and organizational support. Guidelines refer to the specific asset size definition, appropriating a definite and regular amount for the Small and Medium Enterprise Development (SMED) Council and increase in the mandatory allocation to lending activities. Institutional support comprises additional government agencies to coordinate SME efforts and formalization of the SME Development Plan. Lastly, organizational support to intensify the powers and increase capitalization of the Small Business and Guarantee Finance Corporation to complement the growing demands for financing. Other features of the bill include formalizing the celebration of the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Week and recognition of outstanding MSMEs.[44]
  • Free Information Act – He has filed Senate Bill No. 109 (Free Information Act) to implement the Constitutional guarantee to free access by the people to official information, except when the disclosure of such information would jeopardize other prerogatives of the government, namely, the protection of the privacy of individuals, trade secrets, national security, public order and safety, and foreign diplomatic relations. The bill also proposes the adoption by all government bodies a mechanism wherein all written requests for information shall be responded to within two days, unless proper justification is given by the government body, subject only to the payment of reasonable fees for the viewing or reproduction of such information. To compel disclosure of information, in case a government body refuses access to such information on whatever grounds, the Office of the Ombudsman would be tapped to hear any citizens’ complaints of not being properly assisted by the pertinent government body. Penalties will be levied to officials or employees who knowingly and unjustly refuse to provide access to information, or who consciously release false or misleading information.[45]
  • Decriminalizing Libel – He has filed Senate Bill No. 110 (Penalty of Imprisonment in Libel Cases Abolition Bill) to decriminalize libel and limit the venue of filing libel suits. He believes that the approval of the said measure would be a small way by which Congress may help in alleviating the plight of journalists.[46]

On November 26, 2007, LP National Executive Council officials resolved to appoint him as president of the Liberal Party.

Roxas was to unite the two LP factions and set the stage for his presidential campaign in the 2010 election.[47] Lito Atienza, however, forthwith questioned Roxas’ appointment, attacking the composition of Liberal Party’s National Executive Council (NECO) and alleging that the Supreme Court of the Philippines‘ June 5 resolution ordered the LP leadership’s status quo maintenance. Atienza stated: “I have no invitation. They kicked me out of the meeting; How can you (Roxas) unite the party when you take the wrong step?”[48]


See also: Political positions of Mar Roxas

Senator Mar Roxas has taken positions on many national issues since his election as senator during the 2004 Philippine elections.

About the ZTE deal, Roxas introduced a resolution urging President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to cancel the Philippine government’s National Broadband Network (NBN) project with China’s Zhong Xing Telecommunications Equipment (ZTE) Corporation.

Roxas said that the $329.4-million deal “was driven by supply and not by demand” and will not benefit Filipinos. He believes that the cancellation of the deal would not affect the relationship of the Philippines with China.[49]

In order to finally put a just closure to national divisiveness, Roxas filed Senate Resolution No. 135 calling on President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to issue a pardon to former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada (popularly known as “Erap”) at the appropriate time, in which he said: “The grant of pardon to Erap on humanitarian grounds should not in any way be construed as condoning corruption, or as diminishing the legal weight of the ruling of the Sandiganbayan, but serves solely as an embodiment of the people’s will for closure on one of the most divisive chapters of our national life.”[50]

Regarding the Japan–Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement, Roxas has said: “In trade negotiations, no deal is always better than a bad deal.”[51]

He issued a warning after President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo pressed on the Senate to ratify the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA) amid concerns aired by Tokyo for the early approval.

Roxas was optimistic that the pact would be given serious consideration by the Senate if the government revised the deal to get a better trade-off.[52]

Aquino cabinet

Main article: Benigno Aquino III presidential campaign, 2010

Further information: Philippine presidential election, 2010

After his election to the Senate in 2004, Roxas was immediately seen as a potential presidential candidate in the 2010 presidential election. While Roxas himself was coy on his plans, the Mar Roxas for President movement gathered steam with the Liberal Party targeting the youth in the run-up to the election. Other signs included the sprouting of Mar Roxas for President spots on the internet and his colleagues endorsing him as the party’s standard bearer. Then Senator Benigno Aquino III declared him as the Liberal Party’s nominee and Former Senator Jovito Salonga, Chairman Emeritus of the party, once introduced him as “the next President of the Philippine Republic.”[53] Senator Franklin Drilon had also confirmed that Roxas was the party’s standard bearer in the election.[54]

However, on September 1, 2009, at the historic Club Filipino, Roxas delivered a speech at a press conference announcing his decision to withdraw from the race and support the candidacy of Aquino for the presidency. Aquino officially launched his campaign eight days later. On September 21, 2009, Roxas, alongside Aquino, officially announced his candidacy for the vice presidency as the nominee of the Liberal Party for Vice President, launching the Aquino-Roxas campaign.[55][56] On November 28, 2009, Aquino and Roxas filed their certificate of candidacy for President and Vice President respectively.

He was defeated by Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) by the narrowest margin in the history of the Fifth Republic. Binay’s upset victory over Roxas was attributed to the success of the Aquino-Binay campaign, which began when Senator Francis Escudero endorsed Aquino and Binay as President and Vice President respectively. This was done without the consent of the two candidates, especially since Escudero, Binay, and Aquino all came from different political parties. Roxas filed an electoral protest to the Supreme Court of the Philippines at the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. On July 12, 2010, the Supreme Court after reviewing Roxas’ electoral protest, declared it sufficient in form and substance and the Presidential Electoral Tribunal sent summons to Vice President Binay to file a comment within 10 days upon receipt of the summons.[57]

Roxas also requested the Presidential Electoral Tribunal to order an independent forensic examination of the 26,000 compact flash cards and the source code of the PCOS machines used in the 2010 elections. As of August 2015, the case remains in pre-trial stage, with the last action taken by the tribunal dating back to December 2012.[58]

Roxas accepted the offer of Aquino to be appointed as Secretary of Transportation and Communications, replacing the outgoing Secretary Jose de Jesus, who had resigned earlier. He took office on June 30, 2011.[8] His appointment was given unanimous consent by the Commission on Appointments on October 12, 2011.[59]

On August 31, 2012, President Aquino appointed him as Secretary of Interior and Local Government, replacing Jesse Robredo, who had died in a plane crash on the shores of Masbate Island thirteen days earlier.[60] It was Roxas who announced the death of Robredo and confirmed that the rescue operations for the two pilots, Captain Jessup Bahinting and Nepalese flight student Kshitiz Chand, had been turned into a retrieval operation.[61]

On August 3, 2015, Roxas officially tendered his resignation as Secretary of the Interior and Local Government in order to focus on his presidential campaign. In his resignation letter to President Aquino, he once again thanked him for his endorsement and vowed to “begin the process of turning over in an orderly manner all the matters pending in my office.”[62] During his final flag ceremony at Camp Crame, Roxas bade goodbye to his colleagues and thanked the members of the Philippine National Police. “It has been my pleasure and a great honor to serve with you I give you my snappy salute”, he told police officials present.[12]

Presidential bid




Roxas is the Liberal Party’s standard bearer in the 2016 presidential election]]. On July 31, 2015, at an event dubbed as “A Gathering of Friends”, Roxas formally accepted his party’s nomination after he was officially endorsed by President Benigno Aquino III in the presence of their political allies at the Club Filipino, where Roxas had announced his decision to withdraw from the 2010 presidential election and give way to Aquino’s presidential bid. Aquino also announced his candidacy there on September 9, 2009. In an emotional speech, Roxas declared that he would not deviate from the “straight path” initiated by Aquino in the fight against poverty and corruption.[9][10][11] On the same day, Roxas formally launched his campaign website.

In a speech during which he paid tribute to his late grandfather, President Manuel Roxas, his late father, Senator Gerardo Roxas and late brother, Rep. Dinggoy Roxas, Roxas declared that he would not betray the reforms initiated by the Aquino administration and vowed to continue Aquino’s “Daang Matuwid” agenda:

I believe that this is not just about me or PNoy. The “Daang Matuwid” is about the dreams of every Filipino. As the President said: It is worth fighting for. It is worth sacrificing for, and dying for if need be. The Straight Path transcends me and PNoy; it is a Filipino ideal that has been there long before we were born, and will remain long after we are gone. History is challenging us to live up to these principles; to continue on this journey; to fight for our dreams as a nation.

Mr. President, during your SONA on Monday, you said, “This is only the beginning; it is only the beginning of the great story of the Filipino people.” Today, with all my sincerity, with all my will and with all my strength, I am answering the call of the “Daang Matuwid”. We will fight on. I am Mar Roxas and I accept the challenge of our Bosses: to continue, expand and fight for the “Daang Matuwid”.[63]

As confetti filled the Cory Aquino Kalayaan Hall and singer-songwriter Noel Cabangon sang “Dapat Ang Pangulo”, the official song of the campaign, Aquino raised Roxas’ hand after the speech as a sign of complete support for his campaign.[64]

Personal life

Roxas was previously in a relationship with former beauty queen Maricar Zaldarriaga, with whom he has an adult son, Paolo Roxas.[20]

In 2002, she met Korina Sanchez, a news anchor from ABS-CBN.[65] In the April 25, 2009, episode of the ABS-CBN noontime show Wowowee where Sanchez appeared as a guest co-host alongside Willie Revillame, Sanchez and Roxas announced their engagement.[66][67] Sanchez took a leave of absence from her duties at ABS-CBN on May 2009.[68] They married on October 27, 2009 at a ceremony in Quezon City, where Roxas’ former running mate in the 2010 election, then-Senator (later President) Benigno Aquino III, was one of the couple’s primary wedding sponsors. The Manila Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philippine Madrigal Singers provided the music during the wedding. Other notable performers included Basil Valdez, Robert Sena, and Jamie Rivera.[69] The couple owns a black labrador retriever and two schnauzer dogs.[20]

As of 2014, he has a declared net worth of PHP 202.08 million.[20]


  • In 1996, Roxas was recognized by the World Economic Forum as “one of the Global Leaders of Tomorrow who are expected to shape the future.”[70]
  • In 1999, Roxas was named by the Asiaweek Magazine as “Political Leader of the New Millennium.”[71]
  • The Singapore Government has awarded him as the 16th Lee Kuan Yew Fellow.[72]
  • On February 16, 2007, the E-Services Philippines awarded Roxas with the E-Champion Award recognizing his pioneering efforts and leadership in making the Philippines a popular outsourcing destination of choice.[73]
  • On September 18, 2007, Roxas was conferred with the Palanca Awards Gawad Dangal ng Lahi by CP Group Chairman Carlos Palanca III, Palanca Foundation Director General Sylvia Palanca-Quirino and Deputy Director General Christine Quirino-Pacheco for serving as an exemplary leader and role model to the Filipino.[74]


  1. “Palanca Awards confers Gawad Dangal ng Lahi to Senator Mar Roxas”. ClickTheCity.Com. September 18, 2007. Retrieved January 30, 2008.