Vice President Jejomar Binay is bracing for a possible escalation of a supposed smear campaign against him and his family after the release of a Pulse Asia survey that showed him as the top contender for the presidential elections in 2016.
His camp on Thursday said the survey results could heat up the demolition job against him.
Although he welcomed the Pulse Asia survey results, Joey Salgado, Binay’s spokesman, cautioned that this might prompt the vice president’s political foes to step up the smear drive against him.
“We all know that certain groups are planning to intensify their smear campaign against the Vice President. The survey results might just trigger their intensified demolition job against [Binay],” Salgado said.
In its March 2014 survey, Pulse Asia said 40 percent of the 1,200 people polled said they will choose Binay for president if elections were held now.
Sen. Grace Poe, who ranked second, only got 15 percent.
“He [Binay] is thankful that the Filipino people recognize his preparedness to be the president,” Salgado said.
He added that for the Vice President, “performance and experience are the best measures for leadership.”
After he declared his intention to run for a higher post, Binay noted that his political opponents started a “vilification campaign” against him.
Such campaign saw a revival of an old case against his wife, former Makati City (Metro Manila) Mayor Elenita Binay and his alleged politicking during distribution of relief goods in the province of Iloilo.
In his Labor Day address on Thursday, President Benigno Aquino 3rd took a swipe at government officials who are already preoccupied with the 2016 polls.
He asked Filipinos to choose a leader who will continue the reforms initiated by his administration.
”I ask you, If you believe that what we are doing is right, and you don’t want what we’ve started on the straight path to go to waste, let’s choose a leader who will continue and further improve on the reforms we’ve made,” Aquino said.
He noted that the Philippines suffers from corruption and poverty because of leaders who place their personal interests first before the people’s welfare.
”Let us choose those who are worthy so that the transformations we want in our society will become permanent and wide-reaching,” the President said
Although he did not name names, Aquino made the statement a day after Pulse Asia reported that Binay is the preferred presidential bet.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, Aquino’s running mate in the 2010 polls who lost to Binay, was ranked fifth in the Pulse Asia survey, getting only 6 percent.
Roxas is being eyed as the standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party for the 2016 presidential elections.