MANILA - President Aquino held a meeting on Thursday afternoon with Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero, two possible candidates for higher positions in 2016 who have yet to make a decision about running but are rising in popularity.
"Yes. The President met with us," Poe told reporters in a text message. "We discussed 2016 but only to the extent of hopefully having a united ticket. No specific commitments or positions were mentioned."
The meeting took place from 1 pm to 5 pm on Thursday at the President's office in Malacañang, according to reports.
Reports quoted Escudero as saying President Aquino asked for them
to have one common candidate and that their alliance be kept for the 2016 elections.
The President also reportedly asked Poe and Escudero to meet with Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, the Liberal Party's presumptive presidential candidate.
Thursday's meeting was the third time Poe, who now leads the pack of possible presidential candidates based on surveys, spoke with President Aquino about the 2016 elections. On the other hand, it was Escudero's first meeting with the President to discuss the matter.
The LP is rumored to be courting Poe to be Roxas's running mate. Poe has not made a decision about whether to run or not, but said in past interviews that if she does, she would be more comfortable being paired off with Escudero, her close friend.
Both Poe and Escudero are leading in surveys, and the two have the highest trust ratings among senators.
President Aquino is expected to announce the candidates he will endorse after his final State of the Nation Address later this month.