Alan Peter as Mar VP? Feelers sent

Marvin Sy - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - With his survey ratings not improving, presidential hopeful Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano is now considering a possible bid for the vice presidency.

Cayetano told a press conference yesterday that the camp of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II, along with several groups, had approached him on the possibility of the two of them running as a team in the 2016 race.

“We have not talked personally,” Cayetano said, referring to Roxas, the presumptive standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party (LP).

“We have common supporters and when they saw that without Grace (Sen. Grace Poe) as vice president, I was number one and they asked me if I am interested,” he said.

Cayetano said he informed the camp of Roxas that he could not presently respond since he is still eyeing the presidency.

Cayetano admitted exploring the option of vice president, saying that in his own internal surveys, he was statistically tied with Sen. Francis Escudero, who has said that he would be running for vice president.

Cayetano added there were certain businessmen who have informed him that their own surveys showed him at number one in the vice presidential race.

Asked about how he would deal with his fellow Nacionalista Party (NP) member Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV who may also run for vice president, Cayetano said this is not something to worry about at this time.

Trillanes has declared that he would be running for vice president, with or without the support of the NP.

Apart from Trillanes, Cayetano would also have to deal with another NP member, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who is reportedly eyeing the presidency.

“I’ve always been a party man and have a good relationship with NP senators. I have a firm belief that we would be united and will support each other,” Cayetano said.

“Our criteria is clear and as long as we three have an open mind and one direction, the party would remain solid,” Cayetano said.


Ready for the elections


NP president Manuel Villar Jr. yesterday declared the party is ready to field candidates in next year’s elections and would support a presidential bet from the consensus of its leaders and members nationwide.

As long as they believe in the candidate, Villar said the support would be all the way “win or lose.”

Villar, who lost to President Aquino in the 2010 presidential elections, echoed the statement of his senator-wife Cynthia that they were still in the process of consulting their members on whether it would maintain its coalition with the administration or throw support behind Poe in case she would gun for the country’s top post in 2016.

“We’re not married,” Villar said in describing the NP’s coalition with the Aquino administration.

Despite the coalition with the ruling party, Villar stressed the NP would carry out consultations with its members to help the party decide what to do in next year’s elections.

Villar said the NP has the resources to field candidates in 2016 but refused to mention the people and the groups they were “consulting” with regard to the elections.

He said the elections are still far off and many things could still happen before the filing of certificates of candidacy in October.

Villar’s wife Cynthia had debunked claims by Isabela Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao, president of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), that there were ongoing talks with the NP to support the tandem of Poe and Escudero.

The senator said the news came as a surprise to her and her husband after Aggabao was reported as saying that support for the Poe-Escudero tandem was gathering steam at the NP and NPC.

She said the NP was presently consulting its ranks and had set a September deadline for officially announcing the party’s participation in the May 2016 polls.

“To reiterate, we have to first determine the plans of our own members before we can express support for non-members. We are very proud of our party,” she said.


Not yet


Batangas Rep. Mark Llandro Mendoza, NPC secretary general, clarified their party has not decided on the presidential and vice presidential aspirants it would support.

“The party is in the thick of consultation with individual members. That we listen to and respect individual voices makes us strong as a party and that strength will be applied, will be felt, in the coming elections,” Mendoza said.

“The only thing that is clear and well established at this point is our unwavering support to this government and its efforts towards good and honest governance, and that we will only select candidates whom we believe would best represent the aspirations of our people while advocating a dedicated and transparent governance,” he said.

He said the NPC is not leaving the Liberal Party-led administration coalition.

“It is important that during these times of raised political noise, we send a clear message that there is no breaking away from the coalition,” he added.

Local NPC leaders also denied entering into an alliance with the NP to support the tandem of Poe and Escudero.

“We will just wait for the final decision of the party,” said Mayor Isidro Zayco of Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. –  Aurea Calica, Jess Diaz, Danny Dangcalan












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