Erap: UNA to field own bet if Binay leaves

By Jose Rodel Clapano, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 06 2014 03:58 AM | Updated as of Aug 07 2014 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines - If one of the kings goes, the other will step in.

Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said yesterday that the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) would put up its own presidential candidate if Vice President Jejomar Binay runs for president under the Liberal Party (LP) in the 2016 elections.

Estrada, Binay and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile are the so-called “Three Kings” that make up the three-man executive committee of UNA, an opposition coalition of Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Binay’s Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) which the trio created in 2010.

Estrada said that he would run again for president should Binay run under LP.

Asked for comment by The STAR in a telephone interview, Estrada said his chance now of running for president in 2016 is still “50-50.”

But Estrada said he will be forced to run should UNA fail to find a replacement candidate for Binay.

“I will be forced to put up our own candidate in the opposition. Democracy will be lost if the opposition will have no candidate,” Estrada said.

Estrada, who ran for president in the 2010 presidential elections with Binay as his running mate, said the opposition should have a candidate in 2016.

“We will lose democracy should we have no candidate to field. There must be a presidential candidate for the opposition,” Estrada said.

“We will see if we can get our own candidate. If we cannot get a candidate, then that is the only time that I would run. But still it’s 50-50 percent,” Estrada said.