DILG Secretary Mar Roxas and Kris Aquino. File photo/composite
MANILA - President Aquino has yet to pick his anointed successor, amid the reconfiguration of political alliances ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, Aquino's defeated running-mate in 2010, is expected to be the administration standard bearer in 2016.
Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said he cannot answer for President Aquino if Roxas is still a viable presidential candidate in the 2016 polls.
"I can't answer that because we would be… It's a decision that the President has to make who his anoint[ed], who his successor will be or who his handpicked choice will be. It's too far off and I don't want to preempt the President. Whatever decision he makes, we will support, and we will wait for his decision, and wait for his announcement. Again, we still have 849 days left in office," he said.
Lacierda also kept the Palace's distance from talks that Roxas may draft Aquino's youngest sister, actress-tv host Kris Aquino, as running-mate.
"Well, again, we have not. We are in the midst of governance. Secretary Mar Roxas is still the Secretary of the Interior and Local Government. He's still busy. Over the weekend, he was in Boracay, I think, protecting the ancestral domain of the Ati. So he's in the midst of doing his job as Secretary of Interior and Local Government. We have not heard of that configuration," he said.
The Palace also kept its distance from Vice President Jejomar Binay's plans to break away from the PDP-Laban and form a new party .
"Let me tell you that we are in the 849th day of our administration. There's still those number of days for governance, so we have no comment on the formation of a new political party by Vice President Binay. Obviously, if that is true, that is his decision to make. We have no hand in there, so we have no comment," Lacierda said.
Over the weekend, reports surfaced that Binay, in addition to forming his own party, will also draft 3-term Batangas Governor Vilma Santos as running-mate.
Binay has indicated that his plan to form a new party was because of the division within the PDP Laban, with some of its stalwarts aligning themselves with the administration Liberal Party led by Roxas.
Binay had long announced his plans to run for president in 2016.
Lacierda doesn't think that the 2016 plans of Binay, as well as other politicians with designs for the presidential elections, will get in the way of governance.
"Siguro-well, bilang senador, kung 'yung mga… Bilang Pangalawang Pangulo, alam naman po natin si Vice President Binay has never shied from saying that he wants to be president. And I think all of them are fully aware that they have responsibilities to perform, and I don't think the fact that they are entertaining a presidential run would affect their performance as-in their respective capacities….I think it's a mandate for all public officials to serve the public good, whether you are running for a higher office or not," he said.