MANILA, Philippines - If President Benigno Aquino III were to have his way, the administration's senatorial ticket for the 2013 elections would carry the same names and faces from the 2010 polls.
In particular, they are 3 of his allies who didn't make it the last time.
“I'll be disappointed siguro, for instance, if Risa Hontiveros Baraquel would not participate in it. Si Ruffy Biazon is another one. There are others that I'm convincing… Probably Danny Lim also will be part of it,” he said.
The president said he is also pushing for incumbent Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who ends his term in 2013, to be included in the administration ticket.
Although many from the Cabinet were rumored to have senatorial ambitions, the president said Budget Secretary Florencio "Butch" Abad alone had signified his intentions.
“In all honesty, they haven't told me. Except for one: si Butch Abad yata. Si Butch Abad I thought would be one of the candidates. Then the last time he said parang nagbago na yata isip niya. Lalo na noong sinabi ko ‘Pare campaign manager kita for two runs: the Senate and the Presidency. Para naman makabawi ako sa 'yo, ako naman ang campaign manager mo. Bibigyan din kita ng parehong schedule na binigay mo sa akin, pero hindi 20 ang engagements mo in a 24-hour period. Gawin nating 22 in a 24-hour period,” he said.
The president said the so-called senatorial "big tent" will include candidates from other coalition partners and allied groups.
That, except for the group of Vice President Jejomar Binay, who defeated Aquino’s running mate and now Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas, president of the ruling Liberal Party.
“That might be difficult,” Aquino said when asked if Binay’s group could be part of the administration slate. “Siyempre ayan, parang everybody will agree to the concept of we should have one candidate. Then it comes to which candidate, andoon 'yong disagreement.”
He denied there are ill feelings towards the Binay group. “I don't think may samaan ng loob but siyempre you have to prepare for a bruising battle in 2016. How many candidates will there be once 2016 comes in? You have to really differentiate and be the frontrunner and all that.”