MANILA - Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said he will run for president in 2016 if Vice-President Jejomar Binay turns out to be the candidate of the Aquino administration.
In an interview with ANC's Headstart with Karen Davila, Estrada, who was removed from power in 2001, said he will run for president if "Binay is tapped as a candidate of the administration."
Although he does not want to run against his friend, Binay, he confirmed that "there are still so many things that might happen."
"Right now, the Vice-President is unbeatable in all the surveys. He is on top," he said.
He likened himself to former US President Ronald Reagan who still ran for office when he was 81.
Binay is one of the stalwarts of the United Nationalist Alliance, which was founded by the Vice-President, Estrada and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile.
Binay is planning to run for president in 2016, with Estrada's son, Jinggoy, rumored as a possible running-mate.
In the interview, Estrada noted that the pork barrel scam might hinder Jinggoy's plan to run for higher office. The younger Estrada is facing plunder and graft charges for allegedly stealing public funds in the pork barrel scam of Janet Lim Napoles.
Estrada said the pork barrel scam trial could affect Jinggoy's political plans.
"Hopefully, this case will not drag. If he is detained, he cannot campaign...If it is plunder, he cannot run," he said.
Asked for his advice for Jinggoy, he said: "He is still young. Once he gets over all his problems, he can still go back just like me."
He also dismissed talk that he cannot run for higher office since the 2007 pardon granted him by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo states that he cannot run for public office due to his conviction for plunder.
Estrada said the portion in the pardon about his not running for office is in the "whereas" clause of the pardon.
"Assuming I promised that (I would not run), it is only in the whereases but I can change my mind. What is important is the dispositive portion," he said.
"The whereas in a pardon means nothing," he added.
Estrada served as vice-president from 1992 to 1998, after which he ran for president and won handily.