Instead of relying on the President, members of the ruling Liberal Party (LP) should decide through a vote on who will be its best standard-bearer in the 2016 polls.
Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez, an LP leader in the Visayas, pitched the proposal on Friday, arguing that anointment by President Benigno Aquino 3rd does not necessarily translate to a victory.
“What’s the most important factor to consider in choosing a presidential bet? Is it winnability, or the choice of the President? Should the President make do with his choice, win or lose? Would that be acceptable to the party?” Benitez told reporters in a chance interview.
“The party members should be the people given the chance to choose the best candidate to win. I say we hold a convention and vote [on who is going to be our presidential candidate]. That way, we recognize the democratic process,” he pointed put.
“The LP is the largest party. If majority of the party members will endorse a certain candidate [as a result of the vote], this candidate will have the best chance of winning,” Benitez said.
Malacanang earlier announced that the President, also chairman of the ruling LP, will push for the presidential candidacy of Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd of the Department of Interior and Local Government, provided that the DILG Chief will work on his low survey ratings.
Benitez said the party choice might not necessarily be from the LP.
Roxas again trailed Sen. Grace Poe and Vice President Jejomar Binay in the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations with a 15 percent rating, way behind Poe’s 31 percent and Binay’s 36 percent.
An Aquino anointment, Benitez said, is not enough as seen in the case of former Defense chief Gilbert Teodoro, who badly lost in the 2010 polls with a mere three million votes going to him.
Teodoro was the Arroyo administration’s bet in the 2010 race for President.