VICE President Jejomar Binay will be the man to beat in 2016 despite the graft and plunder charges filed against him, political analyst Ramon Casiple said on Wednesday.
Casiple, executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reform (IPER), believes that Binay has a great chance of winning although he admitted that Sen. Grace Poe could be a big contender if she decides to run. Poe has earlier said she is not ready to seek higher office.
If the elections were held today, Casiple said Binay will emerge as the winner because of his high popularity ratings despite the filing of graft complaints against him and his son Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay Jr. in connection with the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.
The political analyst said Binay remains a strong contender for the presidency because he has established a strong machinery at the grassroots level.
“I think he is prepared enough for his dream of becoming the next president because he has been in politics for a long time,” Casiple told reporters at the weekly Fernandina media forum in San Juan City.
He however stressed that Poe could be a big threat to Binay.
IBON Foundation executive director Rosario Bella Guzman said Binay also topped their survey.
She said the vice president will be the strongest contender in next year’s presidential elections in 2016.
“Number one in our survey is VP Binay followed by (President Benigno) Aquino while in our vice presidential survey, Sen. Poe is leading while (Interior Secretary Mar) Roxas is a far second,” Guzman said.
He added that among the presidential hopefuls, Binay has the biggest edge because of his grassroots connections.
According to her, many Filipinos in the last five years felt no major changes as corruption remains high during the Aquino administration.
“Aquino’s Matuwid Na Daan was muddled by so many controversies which include the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) and the botched police operation that left 44 members of the elite Special Action Force of the Philippine National Police in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last January 25,” Guzman said.
She added that Binay was not affected by the drop in the popularity ratings of the present administration because the vice president is deemed as an oppositionist.
Guzman added that those polled by her group viewed the charges hurled against Binay as political in nature.