MANILA (Mabuhay) – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday said he and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte are friends.
“Wala, wala. Kaibigan ko naman ‘yan. Madalas din naman ako makapunta sa Davao at nagkakasama kami sa ilang social occasion,” Binay said at the sidelines of a forum on the insurance industry in Makati City.
Binay said he even wished Duterte “good luck” in his presidential bid in a chance encounter over the weekend.
“Nagkasabay kami sa eroplano nung weekend. At nag ‘hi, hello’ naman kami. At ang sabi ko din sa kanya ‘good luck,’” Binay said.
On Friday last week, Binay went to General Santos City and was greeted by Pacquiao.
In a press conference, Pacquiao reiterated that his support remains with Binay despite Duterte’s filing of his certificate of candidacy (COC) for president in the 2016 elections.
Pacquiao is running for senator under Binay’s political party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Pacquiao had also said that he and Duterte are close friends.
“Talagang magkaibigan kami, close kami. Hindi iyan maapektuhan dahil dito [sa desisyon ko], politics lang ito,” Pacquiao said.
Duterte’s camp earlier stated that the mayor wanted Pacquiao to be part of his “dream team” should he decides to run for president.
Binay said that there was no animosity between him and Duterte despite’s Pacquiao’s choice.
Qualified presidential bet
Meanwhile, Binay said that unlike other “snob” candidates, Duterte always greets him during their encounters.
“Oo naman nagpapansinan talaga kami. May ibang kandidato na nang-iisnab ‘di ba?” Binay said, but refused to elaborate.
Binay also said that he has nothing but respect to Duterte’s qualifications as a presidential candidate.
“Basta ang masasabi ko, si Mayor Duterte is a qualified candidate for president,” Binay said.
Meanwhile, Binay said that he is prepared with the possibility of UNA members leaving the party to support Duterte.
“Kapag nahaharap ka sa reality ng politika, hindi ka dapat masaktan. Nangyayari talaga ‘yan,” Binay said. (MNS)