Presidential race getting a bit crowded | Inquirer News

Presidential race getting a bit crowded

/ 03:44 AM July 27, 2015

Traffic is building up on the road to the 2016 elections, with more politicians announcing plans to run for President or Vice President.

Among them are two veterans of presidential elections who finished their races as losers.

On Saturday, former Sen. Panfilo Lacson, a veteran of the 2004 presidential election who simply reported back to the Senate after losing the race to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, spoke about another run for Malacañang, although saying his plan was not quite firm.


Last week, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago, who lost the 1992 and 1998 presidential elections, announced that she had kept her lung cancer in check and that she was considering running for President again.


If they reach the starting line, Lacson and Santiago will run against Vice President Jejomar Binay, who quit the Cabinet last month to begin a campaign for Malacañang as leader of the opposition.

They could all finish the race outside the gate to Malacañang, that is, if the new darling of the presidential polls, Sen. Grace Poe, runs—and the polls remain true up to Election Day.

Without even saying she was a candidate, Poe zoomed past Binay in the polls last month, dropping him to second place to become the most wooed politician of the day.

Publicus Asia Survey?

Behind her, not in the findings of mainstream pollsters Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia but of the little-known Publicus Asia Survey, is not Binay but Santiago.

Santiago issued a statement, saying she was “happily surprised” by the results of the Publicus poll.


“To remain in the consciousness of voters despite an absence of over a year is certainly a challenge, including remaining in public service. And I consider it in that light,” Santiago said.

Lacson, President Aquino’s disaster czar who quit his job in December last year but delayed his departure until February, was in Naga City on Saturday and spiced up a speech to the local Rotary Club with talk of going back to politics.

He said he had made up his mind about running in 2016 but not as somebody’s running mate.

“I will have to choose between going for the presidency or just going back to the Senate, because the elections are held simultaneously,” Lacson said.

He said he would make a final decision in October. But definitely, he said, he would not run for Vice President.

At least three potential presidential candidates have not yet announced their plans to run—Poe, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice said he was certain that President Aquino would endorse Roxas as the Liberal Party’s standard-bearer before July 31.

In a text message, Erice said he hoped the President would give a hint of his chosen candidate.

“I am sure he will emphasize the importance of choosing the right leader who will succeed him and provide continuity. I am sure that the President has no other person in mind but Secretary Mar Roxas,” Erice said.

The Nationalist People’s Coalition is waiting until the end of August (the “ghost month” in the Chinese calendar) to unveil a run by Poe and Sen. Francis Escudero.

Duterte continues to deny his political ambitions go beyond his hometown in Davao, but the public still believes he will run for either President or Vice President.

The potential candidates are by no means set, with two and a half months to go before the filing of certificates of candidacy from October 12 to 16.

cart0727Targets for VP

Some of the presidential hopefuls themselves are also prime targets as running mates.

Netizens energized by Santiago’s plan to run have suggested that she take in Poe or Duterte or Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.

Roxas still hopes Poe will slide down to Vice President but he is already considering other partners, including Duterte, Robredo and Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV.

Cayetano is still hoping that his own Nacionalista Party (NP) will put him up as its presidential candidate, while Trillanes says he is “100-percent” sure of running for Vice President.

Another NP member expected to run for higher office is Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who is being linked to Binay.

In an interview with Radyo Inquirer, former House leader Danilo Suarez said the race for the presidency was wide open in view of the controversy hounding Poe.

Suarez disclosed that his party, Lakas, initially expressed interest in supporting Poe but backed off because it found the questions about her residency too serious to ignore (Poe is reportedly a year short of the 10-year residency requirement, as she was still a US resident as of 2007).

“I think this is a valid issue and a lot of groups like the Philconsa (Philippine Constitution Association) and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines have stated she will have a problem meeting the qualification requirements,” Suarez said.

He said he expected more than one individual to file a case questioning Poe’s residency when she files for candidacy.–With a report from Juan Escandor, Inquirer Southern Luzon



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