Grace Poe-Llamanzares among five strong VP contendersBy Maila Ager
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.