UNA confident Binay will be president in 2016
MANILA, Philippines—Even if his senatorial slate was soundly beaten by President Aquino’s candidates in the recently concluded polls, Vice President Jejomar Binay is still the man to beat for the presidency in 2016, according to United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) campaign manager Toby Tiangco.
Tiangco disagreed with the view that the midterm election was a contest between the President and Binay, the UNA’s main endorser and a prominent presence in the ticket’s major campaign rallies.
Binay has made it clear that he intends to run for president in 2016. During the campaign, UNA senatorial candidates referred to him as the country’s next President.
“People have been trying to project this as a prelude to 2016. Definitely it is not because the Vice President is not running against the President and the President is not running against the Vice President for obvious reasons,” Tiangco said at a press briefing.
“So though we have declared the Vice President will be the candidate in 2016, he will not be running against P-Noy,” he added.
Moreover, the Liberal Party candidate in 2016, whoever he or she may be, can hardly be expected to tout the results of the 2013 midterm elections in campaigning for the presidency, Tiangco claimed.
Political players may want to view it that way, he said, but the ordinary voter in a presidential campaign would rather hear candidates talk about how to make their lives better.
“The farmer, the fisherman, the laborer, would they look at it that way? Or would they think, ‘Which candidate will give me a better life after the election’?” he said.
Binay has also been enjoying the highest trust and approval ratings among elected officials, he noted.
Given all this, Tiangco is sure Binay will ascend to the country’s highest political post in 2016.
“I’m saying he will be the next president,” he said.
Sen. Sergio Osmeña disagreed that the results of last Monday’s elections could be a bellwether of 2016, warning against “reading gratuitous signals from results using wrong assumptions.”
“The clear signals I see from the results of the elections are [that] senators are generally elected as individuals not as part of a group. But the endorsement of [President Aquino] brought in one or two more senatorial candidates because of the broad support of the Filipino people for his program of reforms,” he said.
“But this is not a harbinger of the 2016 elections. Between UNA and Team PNoy, the issues were not joined. P-Noy won but Binay did not lose,” he said.
According to Osmeña, what the recent elections showed was that Binay is the one true king of the UNA.
“Jojo (Binay) has been deferring a lot to the two other partners (Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Manila Mayor-elect Joseph Estrada) in his coalition. He should take the sole leadership at this time,” he said.
“The Three Kings image was not effective except media kept on playing it up and placed Jojo in a corner,” he said.
Binay’s daughter, a housewife who was running purely on the family name, had a solid showing while Estrada’s son, San Juan Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, barely made it to the Top 12 and Enrile’s son, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, is losing very badly.
Osmeña is not suggesting, however, that Binay ditch Estrada and his other allies. “He will always want, need and deserve the support of President Erap,” he said.
Sen. Vicente Sotto III said Binay should “rethink” the UNA coalition and make it his own team going into 2016.
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