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Villar won’t run for VP, says wife Cynthia

By: - Deputy Day Desk Chief / @TJBurgonioINQ
/ 05:33 AM December 05, 2014
Former Senator Manny Villar and Senator  Cynthia Villar. FILE PHOTOS

Former Senator Manny Villar and Senator Cynthia Villar. FILE PHOTOS

Former Sen. Manny Villar would never agree to be the running mate of Vice President Jejomar Binay or anybody, his wife Sen. Cynthia Villar said Wednesday.

She said the former Senate President would prefer to stay on as the chair of real estate firm Vista Land and Landscapes Inc. than run for vice president.

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“That’s out of the question. He’s not running for vice president. He prefers to tend to his business than run for vice president,” she told reporters.

Binay had been earlier reported to be eyeing Villar as running mate. But the pair has not met to discuss politics, the senator said.

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Mum on 2016

So far, the former senate president has been mum about his political plans in 2016. But if his wife were to be asked, she would prefer that he stay away from politics for now.

“He doesn’t say what he wants. Of course, he’ll be the one to decide on it. So far, he has not given any indication of running [for president],” she said.

Otherwise, she added: “I would prefer a simple life.”

After all, the senator maintained that the presidency was “destiny,” and not “something that you plan.”

Manny Villar mounted a high-profile media campaign in the run-up to the May 2010 presidential elections, going toe-to-toe with then presidential candidate Benigno Aquino III in the poll surveys.

In the end, he placed third behind Aquino and former President Joseph Estrada.

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Landslide for Aquino

The national outpouring of grief and sympathy for President Corazon Aquino, who died in August 2009, sparked calls for her son, then Senator Aquino, to run for President which then snowballed into a movement.

The groundswell of support translated into 15 million votes for Aquino, who won by a huge 5 million vote margin over his closest rival, Estrada.

Sen. Cynthia Villar said the Nacionalista Party has three choices for a presidential candidate. These are Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV and Ferdinand Marcos Jr.

She counted out her husband, who is the party president.

“They are aggressive in a different way,” she said of her three colleagues and party-mates. She acknowledged that the reckoning date for the declaration of candidacies would be mid-2015.

“But if they are not sure, and don’t decide, who are you going to field? Otherwise, nobody should be rushing,” she said.

The senator, however, doubted that Cayetano and Trillanes mounted the inquiry into the allegations of corruption and ill-gotten wealth against Binay because they were positioning for the presidency.

“They’re saying they wanted to investigate. It’s not really about the presidency. I think they see something [in Binay] that they don’t like. Koko (Aquilino) Pimentel is not running for president. They have personal reasons,” she said.

Pimentel chairs the blue ribbon subcommittee that is hearing the charges linking Binay to anomalies when he was still mayor of Makati City.

Belmonte for president?

At the Liberal Party (LP), it could be Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. who will run for president.

On Wednesday, Belmonte made a jest about throwing his hat into the ring in 2016.

Asked to give any names of people being considered by the LP to be its standard bearer, he replied: “Belmonte,” eliciting laughs from reporters.

But the 78-year-old Belmonte said the LP should not only look inward in finding a viable successor to President Aquino who would carry the party’s colors in 2016.

“We have to look around from the ranks of everybody, not just one of the groups,” he told reporters in a chance interview, echoing Mr. Aquino’s recent remarks.

“Actually, there’s a lot of talk about consensus building etcetera. For me, as the Speaker of this House and a vice chair of the LP, and since we’re talking about consensus within the LP and consensus with our allies, I say allies, all of the allies, [should be considered],” he said.

This includes the Nationalist People’s Coalition, the National Unity Party and the Nacionalista Party, Belmonte said. With DJ Yap

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TAGS: 2016 elections, Cynthia Villar, Jejomar Binay, Manny Villar, Nacionalista Party, Vice President
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