AFTER announcing that Rep. Manny Pacquiao of Sarangani province will definitely be in his senatorial slate, Vice President Jejomar Binay is busy scouting for other personalities who will complete his Senate lineup for the 2016 elections.
Binay, bolted the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) to form his own political party, said he is starting his search for senatorial candidates to avoid the same problem they encountered during the 2013 elections.
During the last elections, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), a coalition formed by Binay and former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, failed to complete its 12-man senatorial ticket.
“We lacked time to complete our senatorial slate in 2013. That was a lesson we learned from that experience,” he said.
“This early, we are considering who will be our potential candidates and who are those interested to run under our party,” the Vice President added.
He confirmed that Pacquiao is assured of a slot in his senatorial ticket.
Binay added that by mid-2015, his party’s senatorial line-up will be complete.
“We are reaching out to possible candidates hoping that by the second half of next year, we have a complete lineup,” he said.
Rep. Tobias “Toby” Tiangco of Navotas said Binay will launch his own political party on June 12, Independence Day.
Tiangco said many local officials have already expressed interest in joining Binay’s party.
As Binay is busy preparing for the next national elections, President Benigno Aquino 3rd urged the public to reject “ampaw” (empty) candidates in the 2016 polls.
Speaking before students of the Hope Christian High School in Manila, Aquino bared the criteria his successor should possess.
He said the next President should be competent and compassionate.
“Number one, competence has to be demonstrated. In essence, sino ba ‘yung talagang may laman at sino ba ‘yung ampaw? ‘Yung ampaw baka matutuwa tayo sandali, pero after 10 minutes gutom na tayo dahil wala ngang laman [In essence, who has substance and who is empty? We may be happy with an ampaw candidate but after 10 minutes we’ll get hungry because it is empty,” he said.
The President however did not identify his presidential bet in the next polls.
Instead, he asked the people to be discerning when choosing the country’s next leader.
“If you cannot trust your leader, how can you follow him?” he said.
Malacañang said selecting the successor of Aquino is not in the priority list of the present administration.
“The President is fully accountable to the people. He is determined to fulfill the promises that he made when he ran for president,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. told reporters.
“The administration is focused on implementing the reform programs and attaining the objectives of the Philippine Development Plan. We have no other priority. We have no other agenda,” he added.