INTERIOR Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II gained a new epithet on Thursday—”Boy Daldal”—when Senator Jinggoy called him such.
Estrada gave him the sobriquet for allegedly doing all the talking while they were having breakfast with the President and Budget Secretary Florencio Abad in Bahay Pangarap at the height of the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona.
Roxas said Thursday he didn’t have ill feelings toward Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. for calling him “Boy Pick up” during Revilla’s privileged speech on Monday, when he slammed Aquino for working to secure Corona’s conviction.
Revilla called Roxas such in his privileged speech on Monday after saying Roxas picked him up and drove him to Bahay Pangarap, the President’s official residence, to meet Aquino and Abad.
Roxas said he saw nothing wrong in picking up Revilla and bringing him to the President.
“I look at this as being humble and reaching out to a former colleague. We were together here in the Senate. We had a good relationship,” Roxas said.
“As for me, this is not the issue here—my picking him up,” said the former senator who also drove Estrada to Bahay Pangarap to talk to the President.
While it was Roxas who explained to Estrada the need to impeach Corona, in the case of Revilla it was the President who did the talking.
Revilla said the President begged him to convict Corona.
But Estada and Revilla, who eventually voted to impeach Corona, insisted they would vote according to the evidence to be presented in the impeachment trial.
In driving Revilla in his SUV, Roxas said it would not have been easy to enter the Palace because the Presidential Security Guards had insisted that only a few should know about their entry.
“So instead of using a driver, I drove the car,” said Roxas as he denied removing his car’s license plates.
He challenged the reporters to review the Senate’s CCTV to see if there was an instance when he used an official plate.
“In fact, he even told me in jest that since I [was] the transportation Secretary, I should drive him,” Roxas said.
“It [was] okay with me, so I drove the car. I didn’t put malice on it. I just feel sad now that he placed color and malice on it.”
Roxas said he was not the problem of Revilla, who is facing plunder charges before the Ombudsman over the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam.
Revilla, along with Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Jinggoy Estrada, was named co-accused of Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam.
Roxas said he understood Revilla’s dilemma. “He is under intense pressure,” he said.