MANILA, Philippines - Is a Mar Roxas-Francis Escudero tandem in the works for the 2016 elections?
A Philippine Daily Inquirer report said President Aquino has been hinting to friends of a Roxas-Escudero tandem for the presidential and vice-presidential elections in 2016.
Asked about the rumor, Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said: "I am not aware that there have been any talks between Secretary Roxas and Senator Escudero on any planned political affiliation. From what I understand, Secretary Roxas has been focused on matters that concern the [Department of Transportation and Communications]."
She added: "As Secretary [Butch] Abad said, 'In politics, four years is a very long time.'"
Escudero bolted the Nationalist People's Coalition in 2009 after reportedly failing to gain the support of NPC chairman emeritus Danding Cojuangco for his presidential bid.
Escudero later endorsed the presidential bid of then Liberal Party standard-bearer Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III and Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban vice-presidential bet Jejomar Binay. Both won in the 2010 elections.
Asked why he did not endorse Roxas, Escudero said Roxas lacked experience as an executive. With a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News