President Benigno S. Aquino III converses with Vice President Jejomar Binay during the 5th Global Conference of the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (GOPAC) Opening Ceremony at the Reception Hall, Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on Thursday (January 31, 2013). (MNS photo)

MANILA, Jan 31 (Mabuhay) – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday seemed to be unfazed by the recent pronouncements from some parties that indicate he may face Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. in the 2016 presidential polls.

“Everybody has a right to be a candidate,” Binay told reporters at the sidelines of the Global Conference of Parliamentarians Against Corruption in Pasay City on Thursday.

He issued the statement after Liberal Party vice chair and campaign manager Sen. Franklin Drilon announced that it is their consensus that Roxas would be their best bet in 2016. Lakas-CMD said the same about Revilla.

Binay said he was not surprised about Revilla’s possible candidacy, saying he had already heard about it before.

But he said he was surprised that LP would announce Roxas’ candidacy already since it was still too early.

However, he said he was “more surprised” that LP stalwarts were issuing different statements on whether they have really decided who to support in 2016.

Siguro mukhang di pa sila nagkakasundo dun,” he said, also refusing to state whether LP is making the right decision in choosing Roxas or not.

Ayoko naman makialam dun, bahala sila,” he said.

Roxas, for his part, said that he has yet to make a decision since he wants to concentrate on his job right now.

Roxas was supposed to run for president in the 2010 elections, but gave way to then-Senator Benigno Aquino III’s candidacy.

Roxas then sought the vice presidency, but lost to Binay. In July 2010, he filed an electoral protest against Binay, which is still pending before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

After the one-year ban on appointing losing candidates to a government post, Roxas was named Transportation chief.

After the death of Interior Sec. Jesse Robredo in August last year, Roxas was named as Robredo’s replacement. Roxas’ post at the DOTC was given to then-Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya.

But despite being on a separate party as Aquino, Binay clarified that they do not wish to make him a “lame duck” president as Drilon alleged. Binay formed the United Nationalist Alliance with former President Joseph Estrada.

Paano magiging lame duck lahat ng suporta, nakasuporta naman kami,” he said.

He said they have repeatedly said that they are “the new opposition,” who will be supportive on matters the President is undertaking.

Tutulong kami kung kailangang magdagdag ng suggestions pero di namin bibitawan yung ibunyag, ipaabot sa mamamayan yung mga maling nangyayari, that’s the role of the opposition,” he said.

He likewise said that Aquino himself has made it clear that they do not have issues against each other.

Asked if he could expect Aquino’s support in 2016, however, he said:

Wag na tayo magspeculate, marami pang mangyayari.” (MNS)