MANILA - The Liberal Party (LP) will not entertain a guest candidate for the 2016 presidential elections, Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice said on Friday.
In an interview on ANC's "Top Story," Erice, who is a member of the LP's National Executive Council, said they will not field someone who is not a member of the administration party.
Erice issued the statement amid the endorsement of several members of the Aquino clan of Vice-President Jejomar Binay, who has long expressed his desire to run for the presidency in 2016.
Binay heads the opposition United Nationalist Alliance.
Erice said the LP respects the opinions of President Benigno Aquino III's sisters and uncles. But they will not be the ones to decide for the party, he said.
"The presidential candidate of the Liberal Party will be decided by the Liberal Party, and of course we'll give way to the endorsement of the President. And I'm very sure that the President will endorse somebody from the Liberal Party. We will not entertain a guest candidate," Erice said.
The presidential sisters earlier expressed openness to Binay running as the LP candidate in 2016, saying that what is important is that their brother's successor will continue the reforms that he has started.
On Thursday, it was the turn of the President's uncle, former Senator Agapito "Butz" Aquino, a brother of the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., to express support for Binay.
Agapito said his brother Paul as well as Jose "Peping" Cojuangco, brother of the late President Corazon Aquino, also support the presidential bid of Binay.
Erice, however, pointed out that this was not surprising since Agapito is not a member of the LP while Cojuangco is one of the pioneers of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
Meanwhile, the Caloocan congressman made it clear that the LP has yet to decide on who it will field as its standard-bearer for the 2016 elections.
Erice said they have to make sure that the President's successor will be able to continue the "tuwid na daan" governance of Aquino.
He said they are also still thinking about the possibility of amending the Constitution to allow the President to seek reelection.
He said he has talked to his constituents about the matter and claimed that about 90 percent of them would like Aquino to sit as President for another term.
"There is a need for the continuity of the President's programs," Erice said.
"And it cannot be provided by Vice-President Binay because Vice President Binay is the complete opposite of the President in many, many things," he added.