Updated Oct 16, 2018 12:54:01 PM
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 16) — After his surprising candidacy announcement, 2016 presidential candidate Mar Roxas formalized his Senate run on Tuesday.
He left his semi-retired life in the hopes of making a comeback at the Senate after eight years.
Roxas said he decided to jump back into the political arena because he believes more has to be done to help the country.
"Nakita ko na maraming hirap pa rin at may mga solusyon naman pero hindi napaguusapan manlang. So kung makakatulong, bakit hindi? Ang layon ko ay makatulong at maging makabuluhan ang buhay ko, hindi lamang bilang tahimik na retirado, pero kung may maitutulong, handa tayong tumulong... Layon ko na magbigay ng mga specific na solutions," he said.
Given the chance, Roxas said he aims to alleviate poverty once elected senator. One issue he feels strongly about is the suspension of the fuel excise tax under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law.
"Kahirapan ang pinakamalaking problema ng Pilipino at ang aking plataporma ay nakatuon doon," he said.
Roxas, who is running under Liberal Party, said there is no added challenge now that he is with the opposition.
"Administration o opposition, I've experienced both. All campaigns are difficult. Ang importante ay ano ba ang plataporma mo at paninindigan mo, at ano ba ang specific na gagawin mo," he said.
The former Interior Secretary also addressed the issue commonly hurled against him: the alleged misuse of the calamity funds for the Supertyphoon Yolanda. Roxas challenged the current government officials to show records of his involvement.
"Tanungin niyo ang Department of Budget and Management (DBM). Ang bumabato nito, sila ngayon ang may hawak ng gobyerno. Nasa DBM, Department of Finance, Department of Treasury, sila ang may hawak ng records. Makikita na walang koneksyon si Mar Roxas diyan," he said.
Roxas, however, clarified he has moved on from his loss against then Davao City Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte during the 2016 national polls.
"Natalo ako at tanggap ko iyon, ganyan talaga ang buhay. Tapos na ang chapter na iyun, kaya medyo natagalan o nahirapan ako magpasya kasi babalik ka ulit sa arena," he said.