A businessman – not a politician – is Vice President Jejomar Binay’s preference as a running mate in 2016.
“Personally, I hope I can get a vice president who is a successful businessman coming from the private sector – not an elected official, not a politician,” Binay said in an interview.
He said a businessman who becomes vice president can help the leadership persuade other businessmen to invest in the country.
“I have someone in mind, but everybody is being considered. It is still too early to tell. They may be our allies today and then our enemies in the coming days,” he said. “Like they say in English, it ain’t over till it’s over.”
He also said some members of the Liberal Party (LP) were the ones who sent him feelers that he was being considered as a guest candidate of the ruling party.
“It did not come from me. And even my colleagues in the opposition are not talking to them about the coalition,” Binay said.
He also reminded his potential rivals in 2016 that he is a force to reckon with, judging from survey results.
He also stressed that he and the opposition United Nationalist Alliance were against the discredited Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
“To those who are saying that we will not qualify because of DAP, we are not supporting DAP. We are against it,” he said. The Supreme Court has declared some acts under DAP unconstitutional. Malacañang is appealing the decision.
“I think that the decision of the Supreme Court should be respected. The position of Chief Justice (Lourdes) Sereno is also correct. That (DAP) is against the Constitution. Now they are saying that it is not, so they agree to it. DAP is wrong,” Binay said.
Meanwhile, congressmen belonging to the LP have shut their party’s door on Binay.
“If VP Binay says anything is possible in politics, well, it is not possible for us to adopt him and for the LP to coalesce with UNA,” Eastern Samar Rep. Ben Evardone said.
On the contrary, he said the two political groups would fight each other in the combined presidential-congressional-local elections in 2016.
“If we will analyze past public statements and stand of UNA on the various anti-corruption initiatives of President Aquino, I can safely say that the UNA and LP are headed to a collision in 2016. This is because LP has been steadfast and unequivocal on its support to all the programs and policies of the President, while UNA officers have been consistent in criticizing them,” he said.
“All political parties and groups that are interested in coalescing with the LP should embrace the firm anti-corruption and good governance campaign of the administration,” he added.
Evardone pointed out that unlike some UNA leaders, Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, LP’s potential standard-bearer, “has not been implicated in any corruption issue in his entire career in government.”
“He stands out as the leading possible presidential aspirant who can claim to have and have committed to pursue the reform agenda of President Aquino,” he said.
It was Binay who broached the idea of a coalition with LP, with him running under it as the administration presidential candidate in 2016, instead of Roxas.
The vice president said he was also open to running with Roxas as his vice presidential candidate. Roxas said he could not run with Binay.
Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas, deputy chair of the LP Visayas bloc, said there is no place for Binay in the ruling party.
He said by floating the possibility that the ruling party might adopt him, the vice president was apparently trying to distance himself from his detained allies, notably Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.
He said UNA officers have been criticizing the administration and its policies, while their top leader clings to his Cabinet job. – Jess Diaz
Written by: Jose Rodel Caplano