MANILA (Mabuhay) – Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano on Tuesday announced in Davao City that he is running for vice president in the 2016 elections. He, however, did not say who his partner will be.
“I do not know kung sino pa ang magde-deklara o hindi,” he said at a press briefing. “But I have made a decision, it’s not easy to come by. But regardless kung sino ang makaka-tambal ko, I will offer myself to the people.”
“Tunay na pagbabago, hindi panay pangako. Pinagdasal ko at pinag-isipan… I am running for Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines. I am putting my faith in God and in our people,” Cayetano said.
The senator confirmed earlier reports that he met with President Benigno Aquino III to discuss his plan to run for the second highest office.
Aquino is the president of the ruling Liberal Party (LP). He had earlier endorsed former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas to be the party’s standard-bearer for the presidential elections.
“Nagkaroon ako ng pagkakataong makausap nang personal ang ating Pangulo. Naibahagi ko na kaisa niya ako laban sa korapsyon at mga reporma sa gobyerno. Naipapakita ko din na sa Senado, 90 percent ng kanyang programa ay nasuportahan at naipaglaban ko,” Cayetano said.
Roxas has earlier confirmed that he has formally asked Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo to be his running mate in 2016. Roxas, however, also said that he is likewise considering Cayetano for the post.
Cayetano said he sees himself in the role of an “agenda-setter, of a fiscalizer, of a drum-beater” to whoever will be elected president in 2016.
“Simple lang nakikita ko po eh: kailangan ng tunay na pagbabago ang ating bansa. There are a lot of good people who are running, pero kaya ba nila ‘yung transformation, ‘yung pagbabago na kailangan ng ating bansa?” Cayetano said.
He said he, “like every other Filipino,” wants a president whom the people could be “passionate” about and who could actualize changes needed by the country.
Cayetano also hinted dissatisfaction with the current crop of presidential hopefuls, saying it doesn’t give the voting public much of a choice.
“You always say we get the leaders we deserve. But the choices are important. So kung hindi sasali sa eleksyon at mas maraming choice, we will be left with only the choices that we have been seeing,” he said.
“We want a president who can look OFWs in the eye and say, ‘Aayusin ko ang Pilipinas para makauwi na kayo.’ And so far, sa mga present na nag-deklara, there are some things that are wanting,” Cayetano added.
Cayetano made the announcement in Davao City, the bailiwick of Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who is being encouraged by various groups to run for president. Duterte has yet to confirm if he is running for president.
Duterte has earlier announced that he will not run for president, but in a recent interview said he is now in a final “soul-searching” regarding the 2016 elections.
In an earlier message to GMA News Online, a person close to Cayetano said he is “announcing his VP run in Davao” because “we need a strong president who can change the country.”
Cayetano said he will meet with fellow Nationalista Party (NP) members Sen. Bongbong Marcos and Antonio Trillanes IV to discuss their own plans for vice presidency.
“Any reasonable selection process will be acceptable. However, earlier on I think the three candidates—Sen. Marcos, myself, and Sen. Trillanes—have already stated na ‘pag hindi nagkasundo, we will allow a free zone… We’re still hoping that we will have a united ticket,” Cayetano said.
Trillanes announced his plans to run for vice president last June, while Marcos said he is open to becoming Vice President Jejomar Binay’s running mate in 2016.
Meanwhile, in a press conference, Sen. Cynthia Villar, wife of NP president Manny Villar, said their party will not choose among Cayetano, Trillanes and Marcos but will rather support the candidacy of all of them.
“Eh ‘di tutulungan na lang natin silang lahat. How can you choose from these three? Lahat sila ay miyembro namin at tutulungan namin,” Villar said.
“Lahat sila matatapang at matitigas ang ulo. Iyan naman talaga ang trait ng party namin,” Villar said.
Villar also said the NP will not enter into a coalition with any larger political party in 2016 elections, rather, but will remain independent. (MNS)