PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III has already set the qualities that should be possessed by his standard bearer in the 2016 elections and one of them is he could continue the government's reforms through a straight path.

This was the response of Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda when asked on the statement of Vice President Jejomar Binay that he was still hopeful that the President would endorse him as the presidential bet in the 2016 polls.

"Well, the President has mentioned kung ano 'yung mga qualities na kailangan niya bago siya mag-endorso. Somebody who will continue the reforms in 'daang matuwid'," he said.

From that standard, Lacierda said one can gauge if Binay is qualified.

"Does a candidate follow that standard? And I won't be able to speculate on who the candidate is, but that would be a fair way of benchmarking all the presidentiables," he said.

Binay, the standard bearer of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), is facing corruption allegations for allegedly pocketing multi-billion kickbacks from questionable contracts when he was still a mayor of Makati City.

The Court of Appeals has frozen over 200 bank and financial accounts of the Vice President, his family members and close associates following the petition of the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

Lacierda said that it would be better to just wait for the President's announcement as to who would be his presidential bet.

Aquino earlier said that he would announce his presidential and vice presidential bets for May 2016 elections after his final State of the Nation Address, which will take place on July 27.

Key officials of the President's Liberal Party have been pushing for Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II as their standard bearer.

Aquino also said recently that Roxas was at the top of his choices for next president. (SDR/Sunnex)