Is President Benigno Aquino 3rd grooming former senator Francisco “Kiko” Pangilinan for 2016?
The President has not yet decided whether or not to field Pangilinan or Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 3rd for the presidential race in 2016.
At the Bulong Pulungan sa Sofitel media forum, Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. admitted that Aquino is grooming the potential government leaders who will sustain his “matuwid na daan” or straight path policy.
He, however, pointed out that the President did not mention any name.
“I don’t remember that he [Aquino] mentioned anybody,” Coloma said. “The President spoke last week that it would be best for Filipinos to choose well who their next leaders would be so that there will be continuities.”
Coloma made the remarks in reply to queries if the ruling Liberal Party (LP) is already grooming Pangilinan to be its presidential candidate in 2016.
“It’s not part of my job description to engage in a political speculation,” he said.
“For the record, there are less than 800 days left in the Benigno S. Aquino 3rd administration and each of those days would be devoted fully to delivering on the promises that the President made in his social contract with the Filipino people,” Coloma said.
In a Palace media briefing, Pangilinan said he is not eyeing the country’s highest post.
“I’m not interested in the presidency. I’m not interested in, you know, elections at this time… Politics will take care of itself,” he said.
He noted that he will focus on addressing “the problems that are plaguing the agriculture and fisheries sectors.”
“Wherever that leads me, I will sleep soundly at night na I’m doing what I can to address the plight of our farmers and our fisherfolk,” he said.
The President earlier said that the party has yet to discuss whether Roxas will be its standard bearer in 2016.
“Is he [Roxas] being groomed? Our party has not decided on that. We have not discussed it,” Aquino told reporters
Roxas was Aquino’s vice presidential candidate during the 2010 national elections but he lost to Vice President Jejomar Binay.