Binay as LP bet? No such thing, says Drilon


Posted at Aug 05 2014 09:35 AM | Updated as of Aug 05 2014 05:35 PM

MANILA - Is President Aquino's Liberal Party considering Vice President Jejomar Binay as a possible "adopted" candidate in 2016?

According to Senate President and LP member Franklin Drilon, talk of Binay as the LP bet for 2016 is nothing but spin.

"All I can say is the spin masters are having their day. There is no such thing, honest. I am a member of the executive committee of the Liberal Party. There has been no discussion on that," Drilon said in an interview on ANC's Headstart.

He added: "At the end of the day, the party will be influenced in its decision by the decision of President Noynoy [Aquino]. The President, being the chairman of our party, would have a very great say on who the standard-bearer will be. At this point, there is no such talk."

No less than Vice President Binay raised the possibility that he is being considered as the LP's standard-bearer for the 2016 elections.

He said the administration is also studying whether he could become a “guest candidate.” Another option is a coalition between the LP and the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), he added.

"Sa pulitika walang imposible. Sa pulitika maraming probabilities. I heard lately not a coalition but possibility of an adoption, as a candidate," he said.

Binay said it would be an honor for him if it pushes through especially that major political parties will join forces under one candidate.

For his part, Drilon refused to answer the question of a possible coalition between LP and UNA.

"If I answer that question, I don't know what the headlines will be tomorrow. Given the fact that 2016 is just around the corner, [there are] all kinds of intrigues...I would rather not respond. Anything is possible under the sun," he said.

He also said the LP is not discussing, at this stage, the possibility of adopting a standard-bearer who is not a member of the party such as Senators Grace Poe or Francis "Chiz" Escudero."

Both Poe and Escudero were both candidates in the LP-led ticket in the 2013 senatorial elections.

"They are not LP members but they ran under the LP-led ticket. I was the campaign amabnger and I worked hard for that. Is the LP open? That is not being discussed this early but it is extremely difficult to say yes or no at this stage," Drilon said.

The Senate President said the LP is still preparing to field a standard-bearer in the 2016 elections.

He said the beauty of a democracy is that voters are given the opportunity to "choose who the next leader will be."

"If there is only one candidate, all of us will be in default," he said.

He said that if Secretary Mar Roxas decides to run for President in 2016, the LP will support him. He also dismissed talk that Roxas does not have a fighting chance in the 2016 presidential race.

"If Senator Mar makes finally his decision, makes public his decision, yes the party will support him. [Will Mar have a fighting chance?] Of course. One week is too long in politics. Just look back at our recent political history and you will see the changes in the fortunes of the candidates in a week or a month's time," he said.