JINGGOY ESTRADA SAYS

Grace Poe-Llamanzares among five strong VP contenders

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Senator-elect Mary Grace Poe Llamanzares. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Acting Senate  President  Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada saw five  possible  strong  contenders for vice  president  in  2016, including  Senator-elect  Grace  Poe-Llamanzares, who topped the  recently  concluded senatorial race.

Estrada himself is being floated for the post but  he refused  to confirm it, saying he has yet to get the  pulse   of  the  people.

When asked in a television  interview  on Thursday  if he  would be Vice President Jejomar Binay’s  running mate in 2016, the senator said, “No, I am not saying that. In fairness to Vice President Binay, we haven’t talked with regard to who will be his running mate.”

Asked  then  what would  be his  main consideration for running for  vice president,  Estrada said: “First of all, surveys. I have yet to go around the country and feel the pulse of the people.”

He expected though that the  contest for  vice  president would  be  tough as he  identified five  possible  strong contenders for the  post like Poe-Llamanzares,  re-elected Senators  Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetao, and  incumbent Senators Ferdinand “Bong-Bong” Marcos Jr., and  Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

“It might be tough of course. Sen. Chiz is a respected lawmaker. Grace turned out to be number one. She’s very intelligent, I can vouch for it. She’s my kumadre. Maybe Sen. Alan (Cayetano) may also want to join the race, maybe Sen. Bong Revilla, even Sen. Marcos,”  said Estrada.

“Let’s just cross the bridge when we get there… Malalakas ang mga kalaban. Maraming pwedeng mangyari. Pero siguro early next year marami na ring realignments ng partido yan (The contenders are strong. A lot of things can happen.  But maybe early next year, there  will  be  re-alignments of parties),” he said.

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