Binay not seeking Aquino’s 2016 backing but will be glad to get it—Nancy Binay
MANILA, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay isn’t seeking President Benigno Aquino III’s endorsement in 2016, but it will be the “icing on the cake’’ if he gets it, according to Sen. Nancy Binay.
Otherwise, becoming President ” is destiny,’’ said the eldest daughter of the Vice President who has announced plans to run for President in May 2016.
The senator said on Thursday the Vice President was nonchalant about whether the President was leaning toward the elder Binay when he spoke of the country’s next leader in his State of the Nation Address (Sona).
“His mindset now is ‘let’s focus on work,’ and think about the endorsement later. First of all we have our own party. If he’s endorsed by the President, it will be just the icing on the cake,’’ she said at the Senate press forum.
The senator said her father would need all the help he could get in his planned presidential run, and after all, he had nothing to lose from a presidential endorsement. “Politics is addition,’’ she said.
But in the realm of possibilities, the administration’s endorsement of Binay is “possible,’’ but as to the percentage of certainty, “that we’re not sure of,’’ according to Senator Binay.
The lawmaker, however, clarified that her father has not been “consciously’’ seeking the endorsement of the President.
“At this point, he wants to focus on his work,’’ she said.
Mr. Aquino has yet to announce his pick for the ruling party’s standard-bearer for 2016, but most Liberal Party officials preferred Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar’’ Roxas II, Malacañang has said.
The senator said it was hard to assume that the President was referring to her father in his Sona, but then again, the vice president, being a member of the Aquino Cabinet, has been advocating the same reforms pushed by Aquino.
“The fact that he’s part of the Cabinet, he’s part of those pushing reforms in government,’’ she said.
In terms of coalition, “anything is possible’’ between now and 2016, the senator said.
In his Sona, Aquino said: “In 2016, you will be choosing new leaders of our country. What I can tell you is this: if you wish to continue and even accelerate the transformation of society, there can only be one basis for choosing my successor: Who will, without a shred of doubt, continue the transformation we are achieving?’’
In poll surveys, Vice President Binay has enjoyed consistently high ratings, a fact that the elder Binay and his family did not always relish because these made him a target for attacks by his potential rivals.
“For us, it’s all about destiny. If it’s written in the stars that he will become President, whatever the hindrance is, it will come true,’’ the senator said.
But is he destined to be the next President?
The senator replied: “We don’t think about it. In fact, when surveys come out showing his high ratings, we’d worry that his rivals would make double, triple effort to bring these down.’’
“Even my dad would say: ‘It’s very high. How do I maintain that?’ The tendency is for it go down,’’ she added.
In a Pulse Asia survey of 1,200 respondents from June 24 to July 2, 41 percent said they would vote for Binay for President if elections were held then. This was followed by 12 percent for Sen. Grace Poe; 9 percent for former president and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada; and 7 percent for Sen. Francis Escudero, Roxas and Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago.
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