'Candidate must be trustworthy, with chance to win and continue reforms'
MANILA -- Senator Grace Poe on Monday confirmed that President Aquino met with her shortly before his recent trip to the US and Canada to discuss the 2016 elections, but she said the president did not ask her to run for any particular position.
At the meeting, Poe said the President only told her that the Liberal Party (LP) needs an alternative to the opposition candidate. Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance has openly declared his intention to run for president in 2016.
"Ang pinag-usapan namin ng ating pangulo ay ang kanyang layunin na makapili sila ng kandidato na unang una, mapagkakatiwalaan ng ating mga kababayan, at pangalawa, na may pagkakataong magtagumpay at ipagpatuloy ang kanyang mga reporma laban sa korupsyon at programa para sa mahihirap ng gobyerno," Poe told reporters.
"Wala namang partikular na posisyon na sinabi sa atin ang pangulo. Pero para sa kanya, imporante nga ang pagpapatuloy ng reporma kung sino man ang papalit sa kanya."
Asked if she felt President Aquino was tapping her to run for president or vice president despite the lack of specifics during their meeting, Poe said it is natural to think that way since only two positions were being discussed for 2016. Poe, who is just on her first term as senator, is not up for re-election.
Poe, who recently closed in on Binay in a recent Social Weather Stations (SWS) pre-election survey, also said she asked the President if he would be open to supporting a candidate like her who is not a member of the LP.
"Ang sabi naman niya, ang gusto niya magkaroon ng konsultasyon sa grupo niya para kahit hindi naman ekasktong Liberal. Pero ang prinsipyo na isinusulong niya para sa reporma ay may kakayahan ang taong gawin 'yon, gusto niyang suportahan at least from a personal level," she said.
"But of course the President has to consult his party for approval."
Poe said she herself has not made up her mind about 2016, but that she may decide whether to run or not by June, when she was told the LP would make a decision about which candidates to field.
Poe said she and the President will meet again on the matter, but did not say when.