BEFORE Noynoy Aquino, Mar Roxas was the early favorite to become the presidential candidate of the Liberal Party in the 2010 national elections.

But then the iconic Tita Cory, former president and Noynoy’s mom, untimely died of colon cancer.

Almost immediately, a groundswell built up for Noynoy to run for president.

Mar cavalierly gave way to Noynoy and slid down to become the running mate of now President Aquino.

Mar, the presumptive president, was snowed under by an avalanche of votes for now Vice President Jojo Binay, a stunning come-from-behind victory by the opposition camp.

It has been downhill for Mar ever since, sadly.

He was touted as the more qualified candidate, the son of a famous father and the grandson of the country’s first president after independence.

“Oras ni Roxas” (It’s Roxas Hour/Time) was the stirring slogan of his presidential bid, but it did not come to be, and never will, at the rate his popularity is sinking, so goes current opinion.

The most recent dark episode, if press accounts are accurate (and most likely are), was his alleged outburst at the exclusive Wack Wack Golf and Country Club, where he has been a member since, he says, “I was 8 years old.”

Mar, according to a TV newsman who broke the story, “cursed and berated” several club employees who insisted, following club rules, that he pays for the green fees of his guest, a golf pro.

Anong rule ‘yan,” he was quoted as saying, “at walang presi-presidente sa akin.”

(What rule are you talking about and there is no president to me, referring to club president Philip Ella Juico.)

The amount was a mere P5,000 or $20.

In a letter to the club, Mar denied ever blowing his top or throwing a tantrum.

In fairness to him, why should he be repeatedly hounded for such a small amount.

A bill could have been sent to his office.

Or added to whatever fees he has to pay when he plays.

It’s possible Mar had a bad day at the office, so to speak, and he lost his cool.

So what?

Everybody has his moments.

The problem is, he has too many of them.

Mar, for some reasons, seems to have a bad press.

Being married to a well-known ABS-CBN newswoman (Korina Sanchez) has not exactly endeared him to the media in general.

What has happened to “Mr. Palengke,” as he was once dubbed by his image-makers?

PR-wise, he sucks.

Before Wack Wack, he earned a bad rep when he mishandled the meager and very late government response to the typhoon tragedy that struck Leyte last November.

Remember his infamous run-in with a mayor when he said, “You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino?”

As the popular Geico ad on TV says, “Everybody knows that.”

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