President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Thursday said he will announce his candidate for president this coming June.
“We are still targeting end of semester, end of June to make the announcement. The Liberal Party, with its many coalition partners,” Aquino told reporters in an interview in Bacolod City.
Political strategists and analysts said critical political decisions must be made by candidates and political parties alike by the second quarter of this year, a little less than a year before the May 2016 elections.
Aquino, meanwhile, declined to give details on whom he is eyeing as his preferred successor.
“I will tell you in June,” Aquino said when pressed by reporters on his 2016 presidential bet.
At this point, the administration party’s presumptive bet is Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd.
Roxas has not made any categorical public announcement about his decision, even as Senate President and Liberal Party vice president Franklin Drilon was reported as saying Roxas had intimated to party mates he is interested in seeking the presidency.
Roxas’ numbers in the latest March surveys have not been very encouraging, however.
In the latest Social Weather Stations top-of-mind-for-president survey, Roxas was tied at third place with Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. Both of them got 15 percent.
While Duterte’s numbers rose by 10 percentage points from December 2014, Roxas’ numbers dipped by 4 percentage points from his previous 19 percent.
Vice President Jejomar Binay led the SWS list with his 36 percent, followed very closely by Sen. Grace Poe with 31 percent.
In March, a Pulse Asia presidential preference survey mirrored the same results, with Binay and Poe still emerging favorites.
Binay got 29 percent, while Poe rated 14 percent.
Roxas placed sixth with 4 percent compared to Duterte’s 12 percent. Duterte tied former president Joseph Estrada at third place in the Pulse Asia survey.
Malacañang has said that the President has not openly discussed from which party his presidential candidate would come from, but has instead repeatedly cited the characteristics of the person he wants to become his successor.