MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III is currently seeking consensus among his allies on whom to anoint as his successor, but Vice President Jejomar Binay is not being involved in this process.
In what could be an indication of his preference for the 2016 polls, Aquino said in an interview on Tuesday night that he is not talking with top officials of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), including Binay, on plans for the upcoming national elections.
“I don’t talk to [UNA interim president] Toby Tiangco or others. I didn’ talk to the Vice President. I can’t say naman that I didn’t talk to any of them,” Aquino told reporters in Singapore when asked about the possibility of coalescing with UNA for the 2016 polls.
The President’s statement was in contrast with the “raw” information earlier revealed by Binay in August that the ruling Liberal Party (LP) is eyeing the Vice President as standard-bearer for the 2016 elections.
Aquino chairs the LP, while Binay is UNA’s prospective presidential bet in 2016.
The President also said that he wants to rally all his supporters behind a presidential candidate in next national elections.
“Matagal-tagal ko nang pinag-iisipan iyan at pinipilit kong magkaroon ng consensus, ‘yung pagkakasunduan, sa pagitan ng mga grupong sumuporta sa atin at sumusuporta sa atin,” Aquino said.
“Importante na magkaroon tayo ng consensus, pagkakasundo ng lahat na isa ang itayo natin na magiging mukha ng plataporma de gobierno na gusto natin,” he added.
The President, however, remained tight-lipped about his choice for his successor.
Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya, LP’s acting president, earlier named Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as LP’s presidential bet for 2016. (MNS)