MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay is unperturbed by reports that Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, one of his most vocal critics, may run against him in the 2016 presidential elections.
“That’s news. It made my day,” Binay said on Trillanes’ possible presidential bid.
Trillanes on Tuesday said he is one of the four possible presidential contenders of the Nacionalista Party (NP) for the May 2016 polls.
Trillanes is one of the three senators leading the Senate probe into corruption allegations against Binay and his family.
Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, Binay’s spokesman for political concerns, said Trillanes’ latest pronouncement proves that the ongoing Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee probe was meant to discredit the Vice President and ruin his chances for the presidency.
“It obviously shows that his (Trillanes) motives from the start were impure. It was never about the truth but about politics,” Remulla said in a text message to The STAR.
Remulla said despite the senators’ “demolition job” against Binay, the Vice President continues to enjoy the trust and support of the public.
“It’s really hard to put a good man down,” Remulla added.
Trillanes said the NP, led by former senator Manny Villar, is looking at four candidates to field in the May 2016 presidential race.
Trillanes said aside from him, NP’s possible standard-bearer are Villar and Sens. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Alan Peter Cayetano.
However, Sen. Cynthia Villar said yesterday her husband has no plans to run again for president or even go for the vice presidency. She also debunked insinuations, purportedly coming from Binay’s camp, that her husband may consider running as Binay’s vice president.
The former senator is now busy with expanding his family’s business empire, Vistaland, of which he is president and chief executive officer.
Cayetano, meanwhile, is also a member of the Senate subcommittee investigating Binay’s alleged ill-gotten wealth. Both Trillanes and Cayetano publicly announced their intention to run for higher office in the 2016 national elections.
But Sen. Villar noted that the presidency is destiny. She recalled the sudden turn of events after former president and democracy icon Corazon Aquino died of cancer in August 2009. She said the events led then senator Benigno Aquino III to run for president.
“The presidency, I think, it’s destiny. It is not something that you plan for,” she said. “If that is for you, then it will be given to you. If not, then it is not for you.” – With Christina Mendez
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