Aquino: No consensus yet on LP bet in 2016
BUSAN, South Korea—President Benigno Aquino III on Friday said he would rather the ruling Liberal Party be a party that is focused on issues than personalities.
Mr. Aquino said he hopes people would support the candidate of the administration party regardless of who it will be because they believe in what the party had achieved.
“Bottom line is we think the political process can be further matured if we shift from being a party of personalities to a party of issues,” he said.
“We believe that we the LP and those who joined us in the coalition have produced a product that has redounded to good benefits accruing to the people and they would want to perpetuate the same. So regardless of the personality, they will support the candidate of the administration,” he added.
The Liberal Party’s presumptive standard bearer, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, has been showing dismal ratings in the voter preference surveys.
But Mr. Aquino said there has been no consensus yet on who the party would field for the 2016 presidential contest.
Sen. Grace Poe has been mentioned as a possible LP candidate for president.
Asked whether Poe would be considered, Mr. Aquino said he was not rejecting the idea.
“Grace was our [senatorial] candidate in 2013,” he noted.
But he said he still aims to get the consensus of his allies and does not want to dictate. As he will be retiring from public office once his term is up, his allies who expect to remain in government have more of a stake in the choice, he said.
Mr. Aquino also expressed gratitude for his improving ratings.
He said he felt satisfaction that “truth really came out,” that people continued to believe in him, despite some media personalities, who have millions of followers, attacking him daily.
Amid talk that the ruling party is keen on tapping her for its senatorial lineup in 2016, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said she has yet to firm up her plans after she ends her Cabinet stint.
De Lima is keeping her options open when she steps down from the Department of Justice, which she has headed since Mr. Aquino came to power in 2010.
She said Mr. Aquino has not personally approached her with an offer in the LP senatorial slot.
“That’s why that’s how I answer [when asked about running for senator]. I don’t know yet because, first of all, there is still no indication from Sir (the President) if he has specifically any plan for me,” she told reporters on Friday. With a report from Tarra Quismundo
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