Support of the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino to the chosen standard-bearer of the ruling Liberal Party (LP)–Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd– is not automatic, even if the LDP has an existing partnership with the administration party, according to Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara.
In fact, Angara on Monday said, the LDP is yet to talk about whom to support in 2016.
“I don’t think it’s automatic, especially if you talked to the other parties like NPC [Nationalist People’s Coalition] and NUP [National Unity Party]. But it will still depend on their platform, if it will really help the country, why not?” he added.
The senator said he also cannot say if the LDP will stay as one of the coalition partners of LP, adding that the decision is best left to the party as a whole.
Ahead of the party convention in October to discuss plans for 2016, a decision had been made that the LDP will not be fielding any candidate for President or Vice President.
Angara said the LDP is more likely to support a presidential candidate next year unlike in the 2010 presidential elections where the party decided to have a “free zone” allowing its members to support whom they like.
He cited as example the situation in Aurora province where the some of the party members supported then-LP standard-bearer—Sen. Benigno Aquino 3rd–while the provincial government carried then-Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro.
“For me, it is still too early, it would be better to wait for filling [of certificates of candidacy]and the programs each candidate will present, it is only then that we can see who are the personalities and parties involved,” Angara said.
But aside from the platform, the senator said the party is also considering other factors like “winnability,” ability and experience.
“Experience is important as well as the ability to carry out your programs and ability to get support for your programs,” Angara added.
Only Roxas and Vice President Jejomar Binay have declared their intentions to run for President next year.
Senator Grace Poe, who is leading the presidential surveys, is yet to decide on whether to also run although she had said that she is preparing a platform for the government.
Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. of the Nacionalista Party is also reportedly eyeing the presidency, but, according to him, he is keeping his options open.
Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is also a potential candidate in 2016 but there are reports that he might choose to run for the vice presidency.