MANILA - Sen. Bam Aquino on Tuesday said he is willing to run alongside his celebrity cousin Kris Aquino, whose earlier hint at a possible Senate bid in 2019 would be up for discussion.
"At this point, anyone who is willing to stand up and speak out, have that voice is welcome. Anyone who is winnable and kaya manindigan (who is capable to make a stand) is more than welcome," Aquino told reporters when asked if he is okay with having two Aquino family members in the opposition slate in next year's midterm elections.
Aquino is seeking reelection in 2019.
"Si Kris, if she decides to run, I think she’d win. Honestly ha, kung itutuloy niya 'tong paninindigan laban sa ginagawa ng mga administrasyon, I think she’d be very welcome in the Senate," he added.
(Honestly, if she continues to make a stand against the administration, I think she'd be very welcome in the Senate.)
Aquino, however, said that the actress-entrepreneur's foray into politics has yet to be finalized as her possible candidacy would be a "family decision."
"To be honest, pag-uusapan pa namin 'yan. Siya naman 'yung ate, di ba? That’s a family decision obviously," he said.
(To be honest, we still have to talk about it. She is the elder cousin. That's a family decision obviously.)
Talk of Kris Aquino running for a public post surfaced after she publicly called out Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson for a social media post that she felt had disrespected her late parents, slain former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon Aquino.
"I have contracts that prevent me from running, contracts that I just signed but maybe we need a voice," the former talk show host said in a live video broadcast on social media on June 6.
"I'll pray. I will pray about what is best for me to do," she added.
No full slate for LP?
Aquino said the Liberal Party (LP) is not keen on fielding 12 senatorial bets for the midterm polls.
"Ang tawag ng panahon ay hindi ang LP magbuo ng 12. Ang tawag ng panahon ay magkaroon ng coalition ang oposisyon made up of different parties, institutions, and groups," he said.
(The call of the times is not for the LP to have a full slate with 12 candidates. The call of the times is to have an opposition coalition made up of different parties, institutions, and groups.)
The party is open to form a coalition with representatives from religious groups, the academe, and other sectors that are unsatisfied with the policies of the ruling Duterte administration, said Aquino.
The opposition party counts among its stalwarts another Aquino, former President Benigno Aquino III, Kris Aquino's brother and the senator's cousin.
The LP earlier tapped actress Agot Isidro, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, to join the party's 2019 senatorial slate. She has yet to make a decision.
Ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno was also floated as one of the possible candidates who might join the opposition bloc in next year's elections.
Sereno's camp said they have yet to consider "offers" as they continue to wait for the Supreme Court's final decision on their petition to overturn the high court's ruling to invalidate her appointment as top magistrate.