Almendras explains 'awkward' SONA split-screen

Secretary to the Cabinet Jose Rene Almendras on Tuesday explained the spotlight that was briefly put on Vice President Jejomar Binay, Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and Senator Grace Poe during President Benigno Aquino III's State of the Nation Address (SONA).

In an interview on ANC's "Headstart," Almendras said that when the faces of Binay, Roxas and Poe were simultaneously shown on screen, the President was posing a challenge to his likely successors.

"The picture is nice but what was the President saying when that picture was being shown?" Almendras said.

"He said that these are the things we've done and if you will pursue these I will be with you even if I'm no longer there."

"I guess he was saying the challenge to whoever is to follow him is to do the right thing. For as long as he will do the right thing, I will help in my own way even if I'm no longer President," he added.

Binay has long declared his intention to run for the country's top post in 2016. Roxas has not yet declared his political plan for next year but he is expected to be the standard bearer of the Liberal Party (LP).

Poe, meanwhile, has yet to decide whether to run or not but she is a leading contender for the presidency according to voter preference surveys.

ANC Headstart, July 28, 2015