Who is 'ampaw' presidential bet? Palace mum

By RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 14 2014 04:46 PM | Updated as of Mar 15 2014 04:17 AM

MANILA -- Malacañang declined to name the "ampaw" (without substance) presidential candidate alluded to by President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday.

"You know if the President did not tell you, that means that it is not something that he would want to share. I am likewise constrained by that," deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said Friday.

Aquino on Thursday advised students in a forum to beware of "ampaw" candidates in 2016, saying that the public should pick a President who is competent, true, trustworthy and is a person for others.

Asked who among those seeking the presidency can succeed Aquino, Valte said: "I don't have an opinion on that yet."

Asked who cannot be considered an "ampaw" candidate, she said: "You know, I'm not quite sure if anyone else has made their intentions clear. But, can I not just answer that question because it will lead to some any other questions or probably inappropriate for me to answer."

Aquino has yet to name his preferred candidate in 2016 though his 2010 running-mate and now Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas is expected to be the administration bet.

If he runs, Roxas will have a virtual rematch with Vice-President Jejomar Binay who has already declared his intent to run for President. Binay defeated Roxas in 2010 though Roxas has a pending electoral protest.

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano also declared his ambition to be President and may run in 2016.