Erap set to meet with Binay

Jose Rodel Clapano - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines -Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada wants to know directly from Vice President Jejomar Binay the latter’s stand on reported feelers from the Liberal Party (LP) to make him a guest candidate in the 2016 elections.

“I have to confirm that myself. We will talk within this week. We have to talk because I am supporting him as the opposition’s candidate,” Estrada said on Wednesday.

He expressed optimism that Binay will stay with the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) “because he won as vice president under the opposition.”

With Binay’s high ratings in surveys, the Vice President does not need the support of the Aquino administration, Estrada pointed out.

But he said the opposition is not letting its guard down even if the presidential election is still two years away.

“You have to prepare. But it is still very far. It is still two years from now. One year from now, we really have to solidify our party, our candidate,” Estrada said.

He said that by offering to “adopt” Binay, the LP is apparently running out of people to pit against the vice president.

“I think they (LP) are getting insecure because of the high rating of Vice President Binay,” he said. But if the vice president accepts LP’s offer, Estrada said UNA will have no choice but to search for a new standard bearer for the May 16 polls.

“Should it push through there is no problem there. We will get our own candidate. It will not be democracy if we will only have one candidate. We have to put our own candidate in the opposition. That’s democracy,” Estrada said.

“But as of now, there is nothing yet because we are not yet sure that he (Binay) will not join the opposition. I also read in the papers that many LP are opposed to the idea of getting him as its candidate,” Estrada said.

Estrada’s Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Binay’s Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) comprised the UNA coalition which fielded candidates in the 2010 elections against the LP-led coalition of then Sen. Benigno Aquino III.

For Presidential Assistant on Rehabilitation and Recovery Secretary Panfilo Lacson, there is nothing impossible in politics – even a Binay-Roxas tandem in the 2016 elections.

“For all we know that could happen between now and the filing of COCs (Certificates of Candidacy),” Lacson told The STAR.

“Of course, governance should be the main concern of those seeking political positions,” he said.

“Ang masasabi ko lang bahala sila sa buhay nila (All I can say is, that’s their business),” he added.

The former senator also said he is focused on his current job and not on the 2016 elections. He said that as a former police chief and senator, he has witnessed how politics can distract officials from the tasks at hand.

“I’m not thinking of anything beyond Yolanda, I want to finish this job,” he added.

Binay, meanwhile, said he was “humbled” by the expression of support from presidential sisters Ballsy and Kris.

“I am humbled that they see me as someone who can continue the good programs of the President,” Binay said.

He said the friendship between the Aquino and Binay families was “a bond that transcended politics.”

“I share their view that the welfare of our kababayans should always come first and should not be compromised by partisan politics,” Binay said.

“I am glad that Ballsy and Kris have affirmed this bond and I will always be grateful for their trust and support,” he added.

Sought for comment on Binay’s claim that he was being considered by the LP as guest candidate, Ballsy said on “TV Patrol” last Wednesday she was not averse to the idea of political parties uniting for the sake of the country. Christina Mendez



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