CONTINUING REFORMS FOR 16th CONGRESS: Senate President Franklin Drilon tells businessmen during the annual meeting of the Makati Business Club (MBC) held at the Peninsula Manila in Makati City Thursday, August 6, 2015, that the Senate will continue to work on bills that will improve the economy, create a stable political environment and expand the distribution of social services. "We shall continue in the last regular session of this Congress, and even beyond, the pursuit of good governance and the audacity to implement meaningful reforms, no matter how unpopular they may be," Drilon said. (MNS photo)

CONTINUING REFORMS FOR 16th CONGRESS: Senate President Franklin Drilon tells businessmen during the annual meeting of the Makati Business Club (MBC) held at the Peninsula Manila in Makati City Thursday, August 6, 2015, that the Senate will continue to work on bills that will improve the economy, create a stable political environment and expand the distribution of social services. “We shall continue in the last regular session of this Congress, and even beyond, the pursuit of good governance and the audacity to implement meaningful reforms, no matter how unpopular they may be,” Drilon said. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Sept 8 (Mabuhay) – Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s decision to drop out of the presidential race next year could sit well with the administration’s bet, Interior Secretary Manuel “ Mar” Roxas II, Senate President Franklin Drilon said on Tuesday.

“The field is now down to three, I assume, with Senator (Grace) Poe as part of it. It is better. We are the administration. You would have two representing the opposition,” Drilon, vice chairman of the Liberal Party, said in an interview.

The three he was referring to were Roxas, Poe, and Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Unlike Roxas and Binay, however, Poe has yet to publicly declare whether or not she would run for president in 2016.

Asked if Duterte’s decision not to seek the presidential seat next year would be favorable to Roxas, Drilon said: “Certainly, because…the platform that the party will be presenting is the daang matuwid. We are the administration and we will defend that policy.”

Asked again if the LP was interested to get Duterte as Roxas’ running mate, the Senate leader said that issue has not been discussed yet by the party.

Drilon also expressed hopes that aside from the LP, Roxas would be able to get the support of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).

NPC belongs to the LP-led coalition of the administration though some of its members have already declared their support for Poe should the latter decide to run for president in 2016.

“Certainly. The NPC is a very valuable ally in 2013 and we want to continue that in 2016,” Drilon said. (MNS)