MANILA (Mabuhay) – Malacañang on Monday shrugged off news that Vice President Jejomar Binay will be launching a new political party which will carry him as standard bearer in 2016.
“We have no comment on the formation of a new political party by Vice President Binay. Obviously, if that is true, that is his decision to make. We have no hand in there, so we have no comment,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said during a press conference.
He issued the statement after Binay announced he is leaving the Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Laban (PDP-Laban) and will instead be forming a new party for the 2016 presidential elections. The party will reportedly be introduced on June 12, Independence Day.
Aside from Binay, reports indicate that Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano is interested in joining the 2016 presidential race.
Lacierda, however, said President Benigno Aquino III is not thinking about these things right now as he is “occupied in governance.” Aquino is chairman of the Liberal Party.
“Let me tell you that we are in the 849th day of our administration. There’s still those number of days for governance, so… he is occupied in governance right now,” Lacierda said.
As for reports that previous LP vice presidential bet and Interior Sec. Mar Roxas will also be running in 2016 with Aquino’s sister Kris Aquino as running mate, Lacierda said this is a decision for the President to make.
“It’s a decision that the President has to make who his anoint[ed] – who his successor will be or who his handpicked choice will be. It’s too far off and I don’t want to preempt the President,” he said.
Lacierda added that whatever decision Aquino makes, “we will support, and we will wait for his decision, and wait for his announcement.”
For now, the Palace official said Roxas is “busy.”
“Over the weekend, he was in Boracay, I think, protecting the ancestral domain of the Ati. So he’s in the midst of doing his job as Secretary of Interior and Local Government,” he said.
Lacierda said other aspiring candidates should be doing the same.
“I think all of them are fully aware that they have responsibilities to perform, and I don’t think the fact that they are entertaining a presidential run would affect their performance as – in their respective capacities,” he said.
“I think it’s a mandate for all public officials to serve the public good, whether you are running for a higher office or not,” Lacierda added. (MNS)