MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Aquino may have already started looking for his successor but as far as the United Nationalist Alliance is concerned, the alliance is not focusing on getting Aquino’s endorsement for Vice-President Jejomar Binay.
UNA interim president Rep. Toby Tiangco said Aquino’s endorsement for Binay is not a priority.
“That is not the major reason why a person would vote for a president. Ang major reason is ano ba ang maitutulong sa akin,” he said in an interview with Talkback with Tina Palma. “Para sa amin, performance is the best politics…Ano ang nagawa bilang mayor ng Makati, ano ang nabigay niya, tsaka kung ano pa ang magagawa niya at saka kung anong ginagawa niya bilang Vice President.”
Binay earlier admitted that he is hoping to get Aquino’s endorsement for the 2016 polls, saying that it would be hypocritical to say that a candidate does not need the President’s endorsement.
Two of the President’s sisters, Kris and Ballsy, earlier said they have nothing against the possible “adoption” of Binay as the standard-bearer of the administration’s Liberal Party (LP) in the 2016 elections.
The President’s uncles have also expressed support for Binay.
Tiangco said UNA has only held informal talks about the local races as it awaits accreditation from the Commission on Elections to officially become a political party.
For his part, Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice of the LP national executive committee council said the party is not even talking about politics since it is still in work mode.
“We’ve been meeting every month and you can ask every congressman attending that meeting: wala kaming pinag-uusapan tungkol sa kandidato sa 2016,” he said.
He added he remains confident LP members will accept Aquino’s choices for presidential and vice-presidential bets even if they come from outside the LP.
Meanwhile, Lakas-CMD stalwart Danilo Suarez said it is about time that LP discusses its 2016 plans, noting its deep bench in both the legislative and the executive branches.
He said the party is setting its sights on the 2016 senatorial race and on coalescing with other parties or coalitions, particularly UNA.
“There is a tendency to polarize towards the party of the Vice President,” he said.
Suarez admitted Lakas does not have a deep bench in terms of possible senatorial bets.
“We’re thinking of convincing Martin Romualdez, who is the president of Lakas right now, to run for the Senate pero iniisip niya rehab ng Tacloban,” he said.
“If we can convince, let’s say hindi pa makakalabas si Sen. Bong (Revilla) siguro si Lani (Revilla) ang aming tatanungin,” he added.
“We’re also thinking of fielding – kakaunti ang aming stable right now sa Lakas – si Dato Arroyo.”
Meanwhile, the Nationalist People’s Coalition is focusing its efforts at the local level for now.
NPC spokesman Mayor Rex Gatchalian said NPC bosses told them clearly “that we should focus on the mandate given to us, and not to talk too early about politics.”
“But in NPC, we want to maintain our strength in the local level. We all know politics is local, so we’ve been constantly talking to our local officials, trying to see what’s next in their provinces or in their cities.”
“When the right time comes that we start talking about politics, the national horizon is something that we also want to make inroads in.” (MNS)