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Binay’s VP: Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto or Senator Estrada

Presidential hopeful to also tap Pacquiao for 2016 Senate slate

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Although the next presidential election is still two years away, Vice President Jejomar Binay has already begun putting together his slate for the 2016 elections while at the same time building a new political party to carry his presidential bid.

Reaffirming his intent to seek the highest national post, Binay on Friday confirmed that Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto were among those being considered to become his running mate.

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“He (Jinggoy) is being considered. Just like Governor Vilma is also being considered. As they say in English, ‘it ain’t over till it’s over.’ In other words, it ain’t over who will become my vice president until we have declared,” Binay told reporters.

Definite part

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He said Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao would also definitely be part of his senatorial slate, saying he hopes to complete his lineup early.

“Yes, we will include him (Pacquiao) in the slate… We’ve been talking about it even before the 2013 elections,” Binay told reporters.

He did not say who else were being considered to join the slate but admitted that the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) had already begun looking for possible candidates

Internal rifts

Binay, who recently decided to leave his longtime party PDP-Laban (Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan) due to rifts within the group, said UNA would remain standing as his coalition. He said his still unnamed party would apply for membership in the coalition once it is formalized.

“I can tell you, we are already looking for those interested to become our senatorial candidates. We don’t want to experience again what happened before, when we failed to complete the slate because of lack of time,” Binay said.

“As much as possible, we want to have [a list] to choose from. We hope to complete the 12 early before the elections,” he said.

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Pressed on who else were being considered apart from Pacquiao, Binay said: “One at a time. There will be no excitement if you already know.”

Binay is set to launch his new political party on June 12, coinciding with the nationwide celebration of Independence Day.

Estrada yesterday said he’s glad Binay was considering him to be his running mate in 2016. “I’m just happy to be one of those being considered,” he said.

Asked about Santos-Recto, the other potential running mate of Binay, Estrada said, “She’s also very good.  Very charismatic. A superstar.”

Sen. Ralph Recto, however, said his wife won’t run for any elective position.

No plans of running

“We appreciate all considerations but the governor has no plans of running,” Recto said in a text message. “She has no plans of running for any post and is busy governing the province of Batangas,” he added.

Minority Leader and San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora on Friday said Binay and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas were still the top prospects for the presidential race and all the rest were just pretenders.

“In order to have a serious chance at winning the presidency, one has to have funds, an organization or a party, and name recall. At this point, only Binay and Roxas have these, the rest are just pretenders,” said Zamora in an interview.

Zamora is perceived to be a backer of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano of the Nacionalista Party, who has also announced his desire to run for the presidency.

Ruling party’s bet

The ruling Liberal Party (LP) has continued to look to Roxas as its presidential bet in 2016 despite his loss to Binay in 2010.

Some LP insiders claim that President Aquino has been coaxing his friend, Sen. Francis Escudero, to be Roxas’ running mate.

LP leaders reckon that an endorsement by the President, whose popularity has remained relatively high since his landslide victory four years ago, could provide the winning edge to any aspirant who is popular but lacks the necessary resources such as Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery Panfilo Lacson and Sen. Grace Poe.

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TAGS: 2016 elections, 2016 presidential elections, Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, PDP-Laban, Ronaldo Zamora, Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, Senator Jinggoy Estrada, UNA, United Nationalist Alliance
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