Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV last Saturday declared his candidacy for vice-president in the May 2016 elections during the national convention of Samahang Magdalo at Amoranto Stadium in Quezon City last Saturday .
Although a member of the Nacionalista Party, Trillanes will be running as an independent candidate carrying Grace Poe as his presidential candidate.
Unlike in elections past (except in the 2010 elections when Jojo Binay staged an upset over early frontrunner Mar Roxas) when vice presidential contest was just a shadow of the presidential race and a bit boring, it looks like the VP race in 2016 will be as heated and as exciting as the presidential race.
Trillanes is the third candidate for vice-president to have officially declared. The first was Sen. Francis Escudero, Poe’s official running mate under Partido Pilipinas, a coalition of political parties and independent candidates they are forming.
Next was Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano after his announced presidential plan didn’t take off. Expected to declare his plan for the second highest position in the land this week is Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., who had much earlier floated a presidential run.
The three--Trillanes, Cayetano and Marcos--are members of the Nacionalista Party headed by former Senate President Manuel Villar.
Villar had to declare a free zone, which means they have no official VP candidate, after marathon discussions with the three produced no agreement for a single candidate.
Cayetano and Marcos both are interested to be the running mate of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte who has yet to decide whether he will heed the call of his supporters to run for president.
The current political situation is laughable. Two presidential candidates are having difficulty finding a running mate while there are three vice presidential candidates who are running solo.
Both the Liberal Party’s Mar Roxas and the opposition leader, Vice- President Jejomar Binay had wooed and were spurned by Poe. Roxas is now courting Rep. Leni Robredo.
There is talk of a Binay-Marcos team after Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Sen. Gringo Honasan turned down Binay’s offer. If Binay-Marcos doesn’t push through, opposition sources said the beleaguered Vice President, who is facing plunder and graft charges, might tap former Manila Mayor and now sectoral Rep. Lito Atienza for his senatorial ticket.
In its resolution endorsing Poe for President, the Magdalo, which has evolved into a nationwide socio-political movement with about 500,000 card-bearing members from a group of reformist soldiers who staged Oakwood Mutiny and Manila Peninsula Siege against the Arroyo administration to protest corruption in the government and the Armed Forces, said she is the candidate who possesses the attributes they are looking to be the next President of the country.
These attributes are: intrinsically good as a person as to guarantee the purity of intent in all his/her actions/policies; should have a clear vision coupled with the corresponding program of government to realize that vision; should possess the requisite leadership skills and competence to actualize the vision; and should embody the people’s aspiration to challenge the status quo both in the nation’s politics and its societal dynamics.
Poe was not present at the Magdalo convention but she issued the following statement: “Ako ay taos pusong nagpapasalamat kay Sen. Trillanes at sa Magdalo sa kanilang suporta at higit sa lahat sa kanilang tiwala. Hindi matatawaran ang kanilang napatunayang paninindigan laban sa mga tiwali at sa mga nang-aabuso sa gobyerno. Si Sen. Trillanes ay isang tapat na mambabatas at walang takot na nagsakripisyo upang ilabas ang katotohanan. Ano man ang tunguhin ng tatahakin naming landas sa pulitika, mananatili akong kaisa nila sa mithiin na magkaroon ng gobyernong makatarungan at tunay na pinaglalaban ang interes ng ating mga mamamayan.”
She sent her son, Brian Llamanzares, to accept the endorsement on her behalf.
Trillanes said he is aware of the uphill battle he faces. Addressing his fellow Magdalo, he said the challenges of running for vice president is not only for the organization but an opportunity to widen their service to the country.
“Subalit, ito ay mahirap na laban. Ang ibang kandidato ay mga kilalang pangalan sa pulitika, at sila ay may pera, “ said the senator who has never been deterred by challenges in his past decisions.
“Pero, ako ay naniniwala na habang ang layunin natin ay iahon ang bayan, ayusin ang gobyerno, at tulungan ang kapwa; at lalo na habang tayo ay magkakaisa, tayo ay magtatagumpay, “ Trillanes said.
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