MANILA (UPDATED) - Malacañang said the endorsement received by Vice President Jejomar Binay from the uncles of President Benigno Aquino III merely shows that democracy is alive in the country.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the endorsement is merely the opinion of the President's uncles, adding they will continue to wait for the official endorsement of Aquino himself.
"This shows the healthy vibrancy in Philippine democracy. So, everybody has his own opinion on who their preferences are for 2016. But let's wait for the endorsement of the President, kung sino ang hahayagin bilang kanyang kandidato sa 2016 kung sakaling tutuloy ang 2016 elections," he said.
Lacierda later clarified his statement where he hinted at a no-election scenario in 2016.
"The President has neither decided on term extension or endorsing a candidate. In both instances, 2016 elections will push through," he said in a text message to reporters.
The President's uncle, former Senator Agapito "Butz" Aquino, on Thursday said many members of the Aquino clan support the presidential bid of Binay.
Those include himself and his brother Paul, both brothers of the late Senator Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr., and Jose "Peping" Cojuangco, brother of the late President Corazon Aquino.
Agapito's statement came after the President's sisters expressed openness to Binay running as the Liberal Party (LP) candidate in 2016.
"Balita ko suportado ka raw ng sisters. Hindi lang mga sisters, pati uncles. Uncle Peping, Paul, Butch," he said.
Binay welcomed the endorsement of Aquino's uncles, saying he has long been friends with the President's family.
"Sa akin, mahalaga. Kasi mga kaibigan ko talaga iyon, kasama sa hirap at ginhawa. Iyon bang reiteration ng aming pinagsamahan," Binay said. -- Report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News