MANILA (Mabuhay) – Vice President Jejomar Binay may get President Benigno Aquino III’s endorsement in 2016, but only if he can convince the President that he can continue the administration’s anti-corruption reforms.
At a briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said the President is clear on the qualities he is looking for in the presidential candidate he will endorse.
“The President has mentioned kung ano yung qualities na kailangan bago siya mag-endorso: Somebody who will continue the reforms in ‘daang matuwid.’ Does a candidate follow that standard?” Lacierda said.
Lacierda refused to comment further on Aquino’s endorsement for the 2016 presidential polls, saying doing so will be tantamount to speculating.
“It’s far too early for us to say anything. It’s the prerogative of the President to make his choice, and until such time, everything will be speculation,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Binay, the opposition United Nationalist Alliance’s (UNA) presumptive standard-bearer in 2016, said he is not giving up hope that Aquino will endorse him for the presidential polls.
Last month, however, Aquino said Interior Secretary Mar Roxas is “on top of the list” of his choices for his preferred presidential bets for the 2016 polls.
Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, a member of the ruling party and Aquino’s senior political adviser, has said that the President has given LP members the go-signal to go all out in supporting Roxas in his expected run for the presidency in 2016.
Binay, a close family friend of the Aquinos and who defeated Roxas in the 2010 vice presidential race, is facing graft and plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman for his alleged involvement in the supposed overpricing of the Makati City Hall Building II during his stint as the city’s mayor. (MNS)