Palace explains Abaya's 'President Mar' tag

by Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 14 2014 03:10 PM | Updated as of Apr 14 2014 11:10 PM

MANILA - Malacanang denied allegations that the administration is already on "election mode."

This, after Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya was criticized for addressing Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas as "President Mar Roxas" at a groundbreaking ceremony in Capiz.

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte quickly clarified that Abaya was referring to Roxas' presidency of the Liberal Party.

"Baka nagbibiro lang talaga si Secretary Abaya. I don't think there was any offense meant on that nor was it meant to signal anything," she said.

But Valte admitted that while Abaya may have meant it as a joke, it might not sit well with some people.

She said, "People will see things as they wish, but we are quite sure that that was not the intention of the secretaries."

Roxas may go head-to-head with Vice President Jejomar Binay in 2016. They fought for the vice presidential post in 2010.

While Binay has already announced his intentions, Roxas has not said anything on whether he will seek the presidency in 2016.