Still no running mate for Binay
Ghio Ong, Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - August 5, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Like Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Vice President Jejomar Binay is also still scouting for a running mate, recalling the other day that he had once even suggested a team-up with the administration standard bearer.

Binay mentioned this when asked in an interview with dzIQ on Tuesday if he was willing to accept his opponents in the administration if elected president.

He replied that at one point, he had expressed the wish to have Roxas as his running mate.

A close aide of Binay said the Vice President was apparently referring to the time when the ruling Liberal Party (LP) was having a hard time choosing its presidential candidate because of Roxas’ low ratings in surveys.

Roxas, who was endorsed last week by President Aquino as the LP’s standard-bearer for 2016, is lagging behind Binay and Sen. Grace Poe in presidential polls.

In the June 2015 presidential survey of the Social Weather Stations, Roxas ranked third with 21 percent, next to Poe with 42 percent and Binay with 34 percent.

In the Pulse Asia June electoral survey, Poe also emerged as the most preferred successor of Aquino with 30 percent, followed by Binay with 22 percent and Roxas, who was tied with former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, with 10 percent.

In a press conference in Zamboanga City last March, Binay said he wanted Roxas to be his running mate in the presidential race in 2016.

“Don’t laugh, I’m serious. Gusto ko sana si (I wish it’s) Mar Roxas,” Binay said.

He said he has a long list of possible running mates to consider, “but number one in the list is Secretary Roxas.”

Binay explained he chose Roxas because he wants to have “unity of leaders” in the country.

Tobias Tiangco, president of Binay’s United Nationalist Allaince, refused to comment on the Vice President’s statement.

“I would prefer that the next public statement on this matter would be the formal announcement of our vice presidential running mate,” Tiangco said in a text message to reporters.

Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said he has no plans of running for higher office, but admitted it would be hard for him to refuse if he was offered to be the running mate of Binay in 2016.

“I’ve no plans to run for the Senate but it’s going to be difficult to decline such a call for service if there’s really a clamor,” Atienza said, commenting on reports that he was among those being considered to be Binay’s running mate.

But Atienza said Binay has not yet raised the matter with him.

Meanwhile, Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo said they are not yet ready to run for vice president under the LP.

Santos and Robredo are reportedly being considered to be the running mate of Roxas.

The two were present at a gathering of Roxas’ supporters at the Gloria Maris restaurant in San Juan on Tuesday.

Santos said she may opt to run as representative of Batangas while Robredo said she was considering a run for the Senate. – With Paolo Romero

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