MANILA - The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay welcomed news that the Liberal Party (LP) will be fielding incumbent Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas as its presidential bet in 2016.
In a text message, Binay’s spokesperson Joey Salgado said it will be an “interesting” 2016. Binay has said several times that he is also seeking the presidency in 2016.
“We welcome the statement of Senator Frank Drilon. He is after all the campaign manager and speaks with authority on political matters,” Salgado said.
In an interview with ANC on Tuesday night, the transcripts of which were made available on the Senate website, Drilon said the LP will be led by Roxas in 2016.
Drilon is currently campaign manager of Team PNoy, which is a coalition of LP with other political parties for the mid-term elections in May.
ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) anchor Lynda Jumilla asked Drilon: “As I said, 2016, obviously VP Binay sila, sino ba ang manok ng LP?” Drilon answered: “Mar Roxas.”
The host eventually asked, “pwede nang itaga sa bato,” to which Drilon answered, “Oo, itago mo sa bato.”
Roxas, who left the LP presidency when he accepted the DILG portfolio last year after the death of Jesse Robredo, remains mum on the matter. Reports said he was astonished with Drilon’s statements.
Asked if Roxas is already preparing for 2016, Drilon said: “We are preparing by means of having...by following the matuwid na daan. That is our preparation. Because it is all about good governance. That is the advocacy of LP of which the President is the chairman.”
The 2013 mid-term election is believed to be a proxy war for the 2016 presidential polls. Binay is one of the stalwarts of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
UNA and Team PNoy are already engaged in minor political wars. One such battle was triggered when Roxas issued the suspension order against Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, an UNA candidate for a district seat in the House of Representatives.
Some members of Team PNoy claimed UNA is treating Aquino as a lame duck leader, which would help gravitate power towards Vice-President Binay in the run up to the next presidential elections.
In the same interview, however, UNA secretary-general Toby Tiangco denied this. He said: “Itong mga debateng ito, parte ito ng pulitika. Kapag sinabi mong gusto mong maging lame duck ang Presidente, para mo nang sinabing ayaw mong umsad o umunlad ang ating bansa. Hindi totoo that we want a lame duck president.”
Roxas was supposed to run for president in 2010, but gave way to Aquino. He sought the position of vice-president instead, but lost to Binay. He has a pending electoral protest.