EXCLUSIVE: Mar Roxas: If I cheated, I would've cheated to win

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United Nationalist Alliance standard bearer Jojo Binay and Liberal Party presidential candidate Mar Roxas.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 19) — Why cheat to lose?

This was what former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas told CNN Philippines' The Source on Monday in reaction to cheating allegations made by former Vice President Jejomar Binay, his former rival in the 2016 presidential race.

"Kung mandadaya ako, bakit hindi ako mandaya para manalo? Bakit ako mandadaya para maging pangalawa? Parang walang laman naman 'yun," Roxas said in his first television interview since losing in the polls to President Rodrigo Duterte.

[Translation: If I would cheat, why don't I cheat to win? Why would I cheat to place second? That seems baseless.]

In a media forum last Wednesday, Binay, who is gearing to run for Makati representative in the May 2019 polls, said that "at the worst" he should have placed second in the 2016 elections. Binay placed fourth with only 5,416,140 votes, while Roxas came second with 9,978,175 votes.

"Ang aming talagang computation, eh sa extrapolation namin, 13 million [votes] ang makukuha ko. Hindi bababa sa 13 [million,]" Binay said.

[Translation: Our computation, our extrapolation, I should have gotten 13 million votes. It won't go lower than 13 million.]

The allegation is not new as Binay's daughter, Senator Nancy Binay, has previously claimed that Roxas might have benefited from the supposed irregularities during the 2016 elections.

But Roxas, who is now seeking a return to the Senate, said his 2016 campaign was clean and encouraged the older Binay to lodge a protest instead.

However, Jejomar seems to be resigned to his fate during the 2016 elections.

"Mate-tension ka lang. Kasi magfa-file ka ng protest, nage-expect ka na mananalo ka. Eh kung tanggapin mo na lang," Jejomar said.

[Translation: You'll just feel tension. Because you'll file a protest, you'll expect that you'll win. Better if you just accept it.]