INTERIOR Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd is still the standard-bearer of the Liberal Party (LP) in the 2016 elections, Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya said on Tuesday.
Abaya, also the secretary-general of the LP, added that the party has no standard-bearer other than Roxas and meetings have been conducted to push for that stand.
He, however, made it clear that there is a process that still needs to be observed in order for the party to come up with a final decision on the matter.
Abaya said members of the party will have to meet formally to decide on who will be the LP’s candidate for president in 2016.
“That [meeting]has not yet been done. So I am probably expressing this as my own personal opinion and conviction. I’m sure the other LP members will have their own personal choices as well,” the LP official added.
Abaya said the party’s priority at present is to “serve the people” and the country and sustain the “Daang Matuwid” (straight path) advocacy of President Aquino.
When asked for his reaction on the supposed plan of the LP to field him as the party’s candidate for vice president, Abaya said he would rather focus on resolving the issue on the Mactan-Cebu International Airport than considering such possibility.
If in case LP decided to field Roxas as its standard-bearer, the Interior secretary would again be facing Vice President Jejomar Binay who defeated him in the race for vice president in the 2010 national elections.
Roxas is also expected to face Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., who was recently endorsed by his party Lakas as its standard-bearer in 2016.
But the race to Malacañang will not be limited to the three contenders as other potential candidates are also considering to join the contest, among them Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano of the Nationalista Party.