MANILA - Former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada is confident his political ally, Vice President Jejomar Binay, will remain with the opposition despite rumors that the latter will be the Liberal Party's (LP) standard-bearer in the next election.
Estrada said Binay has always topped approval surveys and that he won the vice-presidency without any endorsement from the administration.
He said Binay does not need the LP to become president in 2016.
However, Estrada said the opposition will be forced to field a new contender if Binay chooses to join the administration slate.
Estrada ran for president in the 2010 presidential elections with Binay as his running mate.
For now, Estrada said he has to meet with Binay and other opposition leaders on their plans for the elections.
Estrada also clarified that he is too busy taking care of problems in Manila to consider running again for the presidency.
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 and major political parties join forces under one candidate.
His adoption by the LP was swiftly denied by LP executive committee member and Senate President Franklin Drilon, who said there has been no discussion of fielding Binay as the LP bet.
"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," he said in an ANC interview on Tuesday.
He also said that if Secretary Mar Roxas decides to run for President in 2016, the LP will support him.