Binay party mates OK with Aquino as coalition bets, says Palace aide | Inquirer News

Binay party mates OK with Aquino as coalition bets, says Palace aide

/ 02:10 AM December 31, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—President Benigno Aquino III’s political adviser on Friday said the Chief Executive wasn’t shutting the door on candidates from Vice President Jejomar Binay’s PDP-Laban party from being included in the administration coalition’s senatorial ticket in 2013.

Secretary Ronald Llamas, presidential adviser on political affairs, said Mr. Aquino was only expressing the difficulty of having to come up with a slate that would include representatives from the Liberal Party and its coalition partners, as well as from PDP-Laban.

“The President only mentioned the difficulties that he sees, especially since the PDP and LP were on opposing sides in the last elections,” Llamas said, referring to the political battle between Binay and Mr. Aquino’s then running mate, Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas.


Roxas is president of the LP. Mr. Aquino is party chair.


Asked if the exclusion of PDP-Laban candidates could have an adverse effect on President Aquino’s working relationship with Binay, Llamas said, “I don’t think there’d be any. And it’s still open-ended.”

Llamas said the possible senatorial candidates President Aquino mentioned in a recent interview also weren’t sure about running in 2013.

“I’m almost sure (Budget Secretary Florencio) Abad isn’t interested. Risa (Hontiveros-Baraquel) could be,” Llamas told reporters.

Llamas said he was not sure what Customs Commissioner Ruffino Biazon’s decision would be if his job at the customs bureau prove more than to be satisfactory.

“What I mean is that there’s still more than a year left. So they have to factor in many other variables,” Llamas said.

“Those were just off-the-cuff observations of the President on who he wanted (in the senatorial slate), but eventually the persons themselves would have to decide for themselves what their plans really are,” he added.


“(PDP-Laban’s) standard-bearer was different in the last elections. Possibly they might also have a different one in 2016,” Llamas said.

Binay was former President Joseph Estrada’s vice presidential running mate under the coalition of the Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino and PDP-Laban.

Both candidates pulled off surprises during the 2010 elections with Estrada moving up from his low rankings in the surveys to place second behind Mr. Aquino.

Binay came up with the biggest surprise as he edged out two frontrunners—Roxas and the Nationalist People’s Coalition’s Sen. Loren Legarda—to win the vice presidency.

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The Aquino-Roxas campaign was disrupted late in the hustings when President Aquino’s ally and supporter Sen. Francis Escudero expressed his support for Binay instead of Roxas.

TAGS: Liberal Party

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