Drilon: Roxas is LP presidential bet for 2016-A A +A
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
MANILA (Updated) -- Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II is the administration's choice to succeed President Benigno Aquino III in 2016, a ranking official of the ruling Liberal Party said Tuesday night.
"Cast it in the stone," Senator Franklin Drilon said in a cable talk show, despite Roxas' repeated pronouncements that taking a shot at a higher political office is not his priority.
If the plan pushes through, this will be a rematch between Roxas and Jejomar Binay, who eked out a come from behind victory in the vice presidential race in 2010.
Binay's legitimacy, however, is still being questioned by Roxas before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) composed of the 15-man Supreme Court.
Drilon didn't categorically state if the LP is now preparing for Roxas's candidacy.
"We are preparing by means of following the matuwid na daan (straight path). That is our preparation because it is all about good governance. That is the advocacy of LP, which the President is the chairman," he said.
To achieve this, Drilon said it is important that the President will enjoy majority support for his reform programs in the Senate.
"Our platform of the President is daang matuwid. This is our platform and this is our advocacy. He is taking his political capital on this advocacy. He has chosen a team that he will tell in his people: give me the majority in the Senate that can help me push my programs for the last three years," said Drilon, also the campaign manager of the LP-led coalition now known as Team PNoy.
Team PNoy has three candidates also endorsed by the rival United Nationalist Alliance (UNA). They are re-electionist Senators Loren Legarda and Francis Escudero and Grace Poe-Llamanzares, who all made it to the top 12 of the latest survey of the Social Weather Stations (SWS).
The three had already appeared in the pre-campaign advertisement of Team PNoy even as UNA is hoping that they will share the stage with other UNA candidates soon.
UNA will hold its proclamation rally on February 12 in Cebu while Team PNoy will do it in Manila on the same day.
"We don't want to put them on the spot by forcing them to join us on the stage. But I think it will inevitably be decided on February 12 since we (Team PNoy and UNA) will hold simultaneous rallies," said UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco in the same interview.
For his part, Escudero said he ran as independent so that he will not be put in an awkward situation where he has to campaign with people whom he have political differences.
"It is our understanding that they are our candidates. They are mature enough to know that they are with the President; they willingly joined the President's team. They should advocate the President's agenda," said Drilon.
Drilon added that he will just "frown" at any of the three candidates who will be joining UNA sorties. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)