It’s Binay-Honasan for 2016

Ghio Ong, Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) - October 4, 2015 - 10:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan is Vice President Jejomar Binay’s running mate in next year’s elections, according to sources from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). After months of scouting for Binay’s potential running mate, party leaders reached a decision following a meeting early Saturday night, a well-placed source told The STAR yesterday.

The source said the Vice President, who was in Misamis Oriental for the Mindanao-wide launch of UNA on Saturday, was informed about the party decision through a text message.

Honasan, a Bicol native and UNA’s vice president, was chosen over Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

“The media focused on Senator Bongbong. Between the two, the talks with Honasan were faring much better,” the source said.

The source said UNA leaders and close friends of the Vice President rallied behind Honasan. Binay is the chairman of UNA.

“It’s clear that Honasan is committed to the VP’s platform – a pro-poor, healing and unifying presidency,” the source said.

The decision had been relayed to the camp of Marcos, the source said.

The source added that Binay and Honasan were to meet last night in Manila to finalize the tandem.

UNA is expected to issue an official statement today on the two’s team-up.

The 67-year-old Honasan earlier said he is not interested in running for a higher position.

The source said Honasan has not totally closed his doors on the possibility of running for vice president.

In an interview in Misamis Oriental on Saturday, Binay said he has talked with Marcos to discuss the potential tandem in next year’s polls.

Marcos is a member of the Nacionalista Party, which was allied with the administration-led coalition in the 2013 senatorial elections.

Marcos has yet to announce his political plans. He may vie for the presidency, the vice presidency or re-election. His first Senate term is ending in 2016.

Binay referred to Marcos as his “plan A” for running mate, but the senator seems to have another first choice for president.

Last week, Marcos met with Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and discussed the 2016 polls.

Duterte, whose ratings improved in the latest presidential surveys, has not yet decided whether to seek the presidency.

A former human rights lawyer, Binay considered running with Marcos even after he fought the dictatorship of the senator’s father, former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Binay also used to clash with Honasan, who plotted coups against the late President Corazon Aquino. Binay owes his political break to Aquino, who appointed him officer-in-charge of Makati in 1986 to 1987.

The Vice President first named Sen. Grace Poe, Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II, and Duterte as individuals he considered to team up with but all of them rejected the informal proposal. 

Poe will run for president as independent with close friend Sen. Francis Escudero as her vice presidential bet.


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