MANILA, Philippines - The infighting between the Liberal Party and vice president-elect Jejomar Binay is looming as it is still unclear what Binay's role would be in the new government.
Talks of a struggle between the two camps started even before the proclamation last week. It is said that on the morning before the event, it was arranged that Aquino and Binay were supposed to be in the same holding room at the House of Representatives. But that same morning, the President and Vice-President were holed up in separate rooms, leaving no chance for them to have a serious exchange.
Binay had announced days before, that he desired the leadership of the Department of Interior and Local Government or the DILG. Another post, that of the Department of Transportation and Communication was said to be offered to Binay. This however, was denied by Binay's camp.
Joey Salgado, spokesperson of Binay, said that the vice-president's camp would respect the decision of President Aquino, and accept the Cabinet position that would be assigned to him.
Aquino had said in his first press conference as President-elect, that there are several candidates for the DILG.
This is a clear indication that there is a brewing infighting and jockeying for positions, said Ramon Casiple, executive director of the University of the Philippines Institute for Political and Economic Reform.
He said that there may be two grounds for refusing to give Binay the post.
One is the apparent value of the post to the Liberal Party's political machinery because of its potential influence on local officials. The other is its value come the 2016 presidential race.
Defeated Liberal Party vice-presidential bet Mar Roxas, is this early, said to be eyeing the presidency, and so is Binay, who is a tad closer to the country's highest post.
Casiple said that from what he knows about Binay, he doesn't see the former Makati mayor as stepping back.
"He is a fighter," and that was demonstrated in the national elections, he said.
At the same time, Binay will not keep an antagonistic stance toward Aquino because of his long-standing friendship with the President-elect's family.
Casiple said it would be up to Aquino to keep any possible rifts from escalating. with a report from ANC.