MANILA (Mabuhay) – Vice-President Jejomar Binay is the frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race for a number of reasons, Sen. Francis Escudero said Monday.
Escudero, who endorsed Binay’s vice-presidential bid in 2010, said the current VP is leading the presidential race because no one else has openly declared their intention to run. He also said Binay is a logical choice for President because he is already vice-president.
“The only reason why that is the case is because nobody has actually announced na yung outright. Definitely, Vice-President Binay is the frontrunner dahil siya ang unang nag announce. Siya yung logical kasi vice-president na siya but people haven’t really made up their minds for 2016. Matagal pa kasi,” he said.
Escudero, who was earlier rumored to be a possible running-mate of Binay in his presidential bid, said he has yet to talk to the vice-president about the 2016 election.
The last time they talked was in 2012, he said. This is amid rumors that Binay is now choosing between Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos for a possible running-mate.
Asked if he would be willing to be Binay’s running-mate, he said: “Unfair because he hasn’t made any offer and I haven’t made any declaration for me to say I am open. Para ka namang nag-a-apply or nagvo-volunteer. I do not want to give that impression.”
The senator denied that he is a shoo-in for the vice-presidency, saying that nothing is certain at this point.
He said he sees nothing wrong with Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano’s announcement that he also wants to become President.
Escudero said that if he does run for vice-president in 2016, he will not be joining any political party.
“I don’t plan to join a political party at this point in time. If ever I do run, pwede ka naman i-adopt o ampunin ng anumang partido,” he said.
He also debunked talk that he is being groomed as a possible running-mate of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, who is being rumored as the possible Liberal Party standard-bearer in 2016.
“The only source of that is a column but there have been no talks. I am being very honest. Walang kumakausap sa akin at walang ganung usapan. Hindi namin napapag-usapan ni Secretary Roxas, even his running for president. These are all rumors,” Escudero said.
He also said that he sees Roxas more often than Binay but mostly in social gatherings.
Roxas ran for vice-president in 2010 but lost to Binay.
Escudero endorsed Benigno Aquino III’s presidential bid in 2010 but refused to endorse Roxas, saying that the latter lacked experience.
Escudero was also rumored to be eyeing a possible presidential bid in 2010 but opted out of the race.(MNS)