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Aquino or Roxas in 2016, says LP lawmaker

/ 01:30 AM October 06, 2014
President Benigno Aquino III and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas (left). INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

President Benigno Aquino III and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas (left). INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE

MANILA, Philippines–Either President Aquino or Interior Secretary Mar Roxas is the only “viable choice” as the administration’s presidential candidate in the 2016 elections against Vice President Jejomar Binay, Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, a Liberal Party (LP) member, said in a radio interview on Sunday.

Erice said Malacañang’s candidate would have the edge against Binay, who has started to lose steam 19 months before the May 2016 balloting amid allegations of widespread corruption when he was mayor of Makati City.

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“If the President will be allowed to run again, he and Mar Roxas are the only choices we have in the LP,” Erice said in an interview over dzBB radio.

Climbs but still behind

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A Pulse Asia survey from Sept. 8 to 15 on presidential preference for the 2016 elections showed Roxas climbing to the second spot with 13 percent from 7 percent in the previous survey.

But Roxas was still way behind Binay even after the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) candidate saw his share fall to 31 percent in September from 41 percent in June. Two other LP members in the presidential survey—Senate President Franklin Drilon and Presidential Assistant on Food Security Francis Pangilinan—each had less than 1 percent share.

Erice said he was open to pushing for constitutional amendments that would allow the President to run for a second term. The Constitution only allows a single six-year term for the president.

The Pulse Asia survey last month showed that 62 percent of respondents were not in favor of President Aquino running again.

‘Mere guide’

Erice said the Pulse Asia survey results should be taken as a “mere guide” for lawmakers who should continue to discuss Charter change whether in this administration or the next.

He said the Liberal Party would hold a caucus this month on its plans for 2016, and he expected a straightforward declaration from President Aquino about his political plans.

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Erice said the party was not concerned about Binay’s massive lead over other candidates because he believed the Vice President’s decline in the surveys would continue as the elections draw closer.

“I don’t think the opposition has any chance of winning in 2016. Vice President Binay is from the opposition and I don’t think there will be another candidate coming from the opposition,” said Erice.

Campaigning since 2010

Erice explained that Binay had been on campaign mode since he was sworn into office in 2010, which would explain his early lead.

“They promised all promises that they could make, they danced all dances that they could make, that’s why they have a big lead this early. But in time, the people will realize that all they are talking about is all hot air. I believe in the power of the public to discern who is serious and who is not. This is why we believe that the opposition will continue to fall as more people realize how serious this administration is in its reform agenda and they will want it to continue,” said Erice.

Originally posted: 7:42 pm | Sunday, October 5th, 2014

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TAGS: 1987 Constitution, 2016 elections, 2016 presidential elections, Benigno Aquino III, Charter change, constitutional amendments, Department of Interior and Local governments, Edgar Erice, House of Representatives, Jejomar Binay, Liberal Party, lifting of term limit, Mar Roxas, News, Philippine Congress, Philippine president, Philippine vice president, Politics, re-election, single term limit, term extension, United Nationalist Alliance
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