MANILA (Mabuhay) – President Benigno Aquino III’s endorsement would be unnecessary for Vice President Jejomar Binay to win the 2016 presidential elections, Senator Sergio Osmeña III told reporters on Tuesday.
Osmeña, three-term senator and campaign adviser to winners of national elections including Aquino in 2010, made the remark after Binay said on Monday that he received information the ruling Liberal Party was eyeing him as a guest presidential candidate two years from now.
“If the election will be held today, Binay will win by a landslide,” Osmeña said, citing the recent surveys that showed the Vice President leading by a wide margin over his closest pursuer.
“The way the survey are today, these endorsements of Binay will not help [him] win… So there is very little plus, [if the President will endorse him],” he added.
In a survey conducted last June, Binay led by a wide margin gaining 41 percent of the nationwide votes. Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe came in second with 12 percent of the overall votes.
“In this country, it is the survey that nominates the presidential candidate…. It has got nothing to do with party nominations,” Osmeña said.
Regardless of whether Aquino’s party was indeed keen on adopting Binay as its standard bearer for 2016, Osmeña said Binay’s remark has already paid off for his political positioning.
“[It is a] good political gambit on the part of Binay to say that,” Osmeña said.
“If you read between the lines ang sinasabi ni Vice President Binay, mukhang mahina ang candidate ng Liberal Party, kunin mo na lang si Binay,” he added.
Osmeña, although an independent, ran as one of the candidates of the LP-led coalition in 2010.
Binay revealed on Monday that he received information that the LP was considering adopting him as its standard bearer in the 2016 elections.
However, Senate President Franklin Drilon, who is also the vice chairman of the Liberal Party, denied that the party was eyeing the Vice President in the upcoming national elections.
“All I can say is that the spin masters are having their day. There is no such thing. I am a member of the Executive Committee of the Liberal Party, and there has been no discussion on that,” he said in a television interview. (MNS)