Binay is UNA's bet in 2016 - Erap

by Jose Rodel Clapano, The Philippine Star

Posted at Aug 10 2014 11:41 AM | Updated as of Aug 10 2014 11:43 PM

MANILA - Vice President Jejomar Binay remains the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)’s standard bearer for 2016, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada said yesterday.

Estrada said he and Binay will meet next week.

“Right now, our candidate (for president in 2016) is Vice President Jojo Binay. He is a very strong candidate, that is why they are running after him,” he said.

“We talked on the phone. Our conversation did not reach the point of him giving an assurance that he will stay with UNA,” he added.

Estrada said he cannot blame the sisters of President Aquino – especially Kris and Ballsy – if they are supporting Binay’s bid for the presidency.

“We cannot also blame him if he is maintaining his close ties with the Aquino family. He is like family to the Aquinos,” the mayor said.

“The Vice President helped them during the time that they needed him and they cannot forget that. I admire them for that. It’s like a debt of gratitude of the Aquinos to Binay,” he added.

Tandem with Mar, Chiz

Binay said he is open to the possibility of having Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II or Sen. Francis Escudero as his running for the 2016 race.

In an interview with GMA-7 on the sidelines of Landbank’s 24th Gawad Para sa Pinakatanging Kooperatiba awarding ceremony, the Vice President said everything is possible in politics.

“Like what I have said, there is nothing impossible in politics,” Binay said when asked about his possible tandem with Roxas or Escudero should a coalition between UNA and the ruling Liberal Party take place.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said he has no plan to run for president in 2016.

He issued the statement amid reports that his mother, Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos, has been meeting with political leaders for his candidacy in 2016.

The younger Marcos said he is not aiming for higher office at this time. – With Raffy Viray