Puno: No need for unity vs Duterte; Binay to win as minority prez
Vice President Jejomar Binay does not need to join forces with other candidates to beat survey front-runner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, according to his campaign adviser.
Ronaldo Puno, a former interior secretary, appeared in public for the first time as Binay’s chief strategist at the end of the campaign period during the miting de avance on Lawton Avenue in Makati City.
Puno said Binay would win in the five-person race to emerge as a “minority president.”
“We’re going to win. We don’t need to join anybody. If they want to join us they’re welcome,” Puno said.
He made the reaction after President Benigno Aquino III urged the supporters of candidates to unite against the possible return of dictatorship under a Duterte presidency.
Asked about forging a united front against a possible dictatorship, Puno said the other candidates should join Binay instead to fight for democracy.
But Binay would not back out from the race, Puno clarified.
“They can join VP Binay so it can be democracy for sure … Because it’s a five-man race, almost for sure the winner, whoever he will be, probably VP Binay, will be a minority president,” Puno said.
“People will really have to come together after elections,” he added.
Puno engineered the electoral wins of Presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
In an interview with Inquirer editors and reporters on Friday, President Aquino said he spoke with administration candidate Mar Roxas and independent candidate Sen. Grace Poe to unite against Duterte, raising speculations the administration wanted the senator to back out to give its bet the winning edge.
Roxas said he was willing to have a dialogue with Poe to unite against a “looming dictatorship.”
The two presidential contenders are statistically tied in the recent surveys.