Press Release
March 14, 2010


"If Mar Roxas wants to prove that he's more fit than I am to be vice president, he should be ready to debate with me on issues," NP-NPC-LDP vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda said on Saturday during a break during her campaign sorties in Nothern Samar.

Legarda issued the challenge on learning from her staff and supporters of the relentless spread of black propaganda text messages against her.

"It's one of the oldest tricks in the book," she said. "Making your opponent look bad so that you look good in comparison. But that's not going to make him any good as a vice president. Or even a barangay chairman for that matter."

Legarda added that Roxas seemed unable to speak for himself and relies on other people to blow his horn for him.

"You got it straight from the horse's mouth. Mar Roxas himself admits that he did ask me if I would withdraw from the vice presidential race and support him and Noynoy Aquino. Unfortunately, he remembers making a query, as he put it, but not an offer. He's got a conveniently selective memory and a twisted interpretation of facts."

Legarda issued that statement on Friday after reading a front-page story in the Tribune titled "Roxas admits Legarda quip. says it's a query."

"So why is (Liberal Party spokesman) Chito Gascon saying that I'm getting so desperate that I've resorted to mudslinging?" Legarda said. "Since when has telling the truth become mudslinging? I'm a journalist. I'm not used to making up facts. Roxas remembers asking me the query"

Legarda said Gascon and Roxas had better consult each other first before issuing statements.

"Para naman maging consistent yung gusto nilang palabasin na mga statements," Legarda said. "They're the ones who sound desperate. They'd say anything to get off the hook. Mar is even making it appear that I'm the one with shady intentions by running with Manny (Villar)."

The issue broke out on Wednesday, shortly after Legarda's radio interview with Mike Enriquez over DZBB.

Legarda said the Roxas made an offer to her before the Senate adjourned in February.

"Back when I had no running mate yet, Mar tried to make an arrangement with me 'outside of the political process'," she said.

As she passed by his chair in the Senate session hall, Roxas told her: "If there's any way that you can support my principal (LP presidential candidate Noynoy Aquino) and me, if there's anything you want, we can provide."

At that time, she did not know what Roxas meant exactly. So she replied: "Please don't talk to me in riddles."

She later recounted this to her political advisers who told her that it was something like an "exchange deal."

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