Alan Cayetano focus for 2016: Nursery, not Palace
Suddenly, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano isn’t too sure about running for President in 2016, no thanks in part to a steep drop in his voter preference ratings.
If anything, the senator may have moved his focus from Malacañang to the nursery.
Cayetano said he and his wife, Taguig Mayor Lani Cayetano, are working on having a baby.
“In fact, our focus now is not the presidency, but to have a baby, I can tell you very honestly,” he said.
Despite his high-profile role in the highly popular Senate inquiry into the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall Building II, Cayetano saw his ratings dip from 5 percent to 1 percent in the Pulse Asia September survey of voters’ preferences for potential presidential candidates in 2016.
In that survey, Vice President Jejomar Binay, the target of corruption and ill-gotten wealth allegations, continued to lead the pack with 31 percent, though in a vastly diminished capacity.
“All politicians want to run, but whether I’m running in 2016 I don’t know. With the present ratings, who would run with such low ratings?” Cayetano told reporters in Taguig City.
The senator has been dropping broad hints about his presidential plans. In fact, as early as March, he formed a team to monitor surveys and gauge his chances. He also planned to mount an advertising campaign to boost his putative candidacy.
“I want to be President of this country someday. I think I can do something great for God and our people. But is 2016 my time? Or is it 2022? 2028? Or never?” Cayetano said in March.
Even before the Senate decided to launch an investigation into the allegedly overpriced P2.28-billion parking building, he had been taking potshots at Binay, the consistent front-runner in the voter preference polls.
Though it may have worked in bringing down Binay’s ratings, the strategy may have partly backfired on Cayetano.
Cayetano, who has teamed up with Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV in the high-profile televised investigation, merely shrugs off the idea of an apparent backlash against him.
“When I do investigations, I don’t really care about the consequences or about the ratings,” he said.
He said he had been warned of becoming an open target for attacks if he joined the inquiry, but went ahead just the same. Otherwise, he said, Trillanes would have been on his own.
“If I was really intent on running for President, I would not have joined the investigation,” he said.
But would he reconsider his plans to run for the country’s top post?
“As I said from the start, I never said I’m bent on anything. If the doors are open… if it’s not for me, it’s not for me. I’m a fatalistic person. Wherever God wants to put me, whatever the position, I’m happy anywhere we are,” he said.
Not running for VP
Cayetano has ruled out running for Vice President, apparently not relishing playing second fiddle to the President.
“My problem with being VP is that, unless you are super-close to the President, you cannot really implement your plans. As I said, I’d rather be a senator, or maybe a mayor than a VP, but nothing is final,” he said.
At the hearings on the allegedly overpriced Makati parking building conducted by the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, witnesses have accused Binay of ordering the rigging of the bidding for infrastructure projects to favor a contractor, and of taking kickbacks from the deals. He has also been accused of owning a P1.2-billion, 350-hectare farm in Batangas province. Binay has denied the charges.
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