Abad: Leni is 'sentimental choice' for Mar's VP

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 29 2015 12:20 AM | Updated as of Sep 29 2015 11:14 AM

For someone who had been eyeing the presidency for so long, former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas appears to be having difficulty finding a running mate.

It's seems to be a problem as well for Vice President Jejomar Binay, the first politician to announce that he would run for president next year.

But Budget Secretary Florencio Abad of the Liberal Party said Roxas' is a different story.

“That may be the case for the Vice President,” he told ABS-CBN News. “In our case, it’s really selecting from a list so it’s not for lack of it.”

Roxas is expected to announce his running mate during an LP gathering at his Balay residence in Quezon City on Wednesday.

Abad said Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo was the “sentimental choice” of LP and members of the administration coalition.

“But as she said, she has to sort this out with her family and we understand that because family comes first,” he said.

Aside from Roxas’ choice of vice president, the focus will also be on members of his senatorial ticket. It will be mix of the old and the new.

Abad said a “shoo-in” would be Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senators Ralph Recto, and Teofisto “TG” Guingona, and former Sen. Francis Pangilinan.

Among those mentioned were Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and TESDA chief Joel Villanueva, who is in charge of the government’s vocational training program.

The two don’t exactly see eye-to-eye and would make strange bedfellows should they end up in the same senatorial ticket.

Imagine De Lima trumpeting her achievements at the Department of Justice, among them, the cases she had filed against top politicians in connection with the alleged pork barrel scam.

And on the same campaign stage is Villanueva, who is among those charged before the Office of the Ombudsman.

“I won’t be comfortable (in the same ticket with De Lima),” he said. “(But) I don’t want (the party) to choose between the two of us.”

Abad is hopeful that De Lima and Villanueva will set aside their differences.

“Those are not the primary considerations for joining the slate,” he said. “Those are really personal between the candidates which they have to sort out themselves.”

Villanueva is also being considered under the senatorial ticket of Sen. Grace Poe. But a meeting last week with President Aquino and Roxas might finally lure him to the administration slate.

Villanueva said his loyalty to the President is a “major” consideration.

“If I would join a slate, it’s not because of one person who doesn’t want me there,” he said. “It would be because of the leader I really look up to… President Noynoy.”

But whether Roxas really wants him there is another story.