MANILA (Mabuhay) – Just three months before the filing of certificates of candidacies in October, the Nacionalista Party has yet to decide whether to field its own standard-bearer in the 2016 elections, a party stalwart said on Monday.
Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., one of three NP members who are reportedly eyeing higher positions in 2016, said the party was still observing the latest developments in the political arena.
“When it comes to a national elections, it’s very important to know what the parties are doing because you can’t run a successful national campaign without a party. I’m watching within my party because what we’re going to do will be based on a party decision,” Marcos said in a news forum.
“The party’s consensus will at least give me an idea of what I should do and can do so I’ll leave [the decision on whether or not to run] for later. It’s too important a decision to rush,” he added.
Asked whether he will run for President, Marcos said, “I’m following the old dictum of an old man and say that I’ll keep my options open.”
Senator Cynthia Villar, wife of NP president and former senator Manny Villar, earlier mentioned Marcos as one of the party members who have expressed interest in running for president.
Aside from him, Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Alan Peter Cayetano are also reportedly eyeing a higher post in the next elections.
No VP yet
While other potential presidential candidates have begun scouting for a potential running mate, Marcos said he hasn’t even considered anyone to run alongside him as vice president.
“We’re nowhere near that kind of discussion yet [on choosing a running mate]. Those kinds of discussions will not be conducted on an individual basis. Sa partido ang mga usapang ganyan,” Marcos said.
“The NP has taken a position to hold back first on deciding upon its role in the 2016 elections. Whether or not we will have a candidate in the NP or adopt someone, that has yet to be decided,” he added.
Nevertheless, Marcos said he is open to a possible tandem with Senator Grace Poe, who is leading the latest pre-election popularity polls for potential presidential bets.
“Everything can happen and has happened in Philippine politics. So I’m saying never say never,” he said.
Poe, who remains coy about her political plans, has been vocal about her preference to have Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero as a partner if ever she decides to run for higher office. The two senators ran as independent candidates in the 2013 midterm elections.
There had been speculation earlier that Marcos might run together with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte after he appeared in the feisty local chief executive’s television program earlier this month.
The senator, however, denied there are ongoing discussions about their possible tandem even as he described their potential partnership as “viable.”
KBL not as strong
Though Marcos ran for local posts in Ilocos Norte under the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) party founded by his father, the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, he said he decided to join NP because it was in a better position to support his senatorial bid in 2010.
“Ang KBL ay di na nakakalat tulad ng dati so kapag national ang tatakbuhan mo na puwesto, kailangan mo ng matibay na partido para suportahan ka. It was a natural decision for me because my father also came from NP. Anuman ang kakayahan ng KBL noong panahon ng aking ama nabawasan na ‘yun,” he said in response to a question on whether he’s now “ashamed” of his former party.
KBL was formed in 1978 as an “umbrella” coalition of parties supporting then-President Marcos for the Interim Batasang Pambansa. It was also his political vehicle during his rule.(MNS)