THE ruling Liberal Party (LP) has yet to discuss whether Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd will be its standard bearer for the 2016 Presidential polls.
President Benigno Aquino 3rd, who is the LP’s national chairman, on Tuesday said that the party has yet to discuss its possible presidential bet.
“Is he [Roxas] being groomed? Our party has not decided on that. We have not discussed it,” Aquino said during the Bulong Pulungan news forum.
The Chief executive made the remarks in reply to queries if the party is already grooming Roxas to be its presidential candidate in 2016.
He said instead of preparing for the 2016 elections, Mr. Aquino said that “we are focused on solving the problems of today.”
In defending Roxas, Mr. Aquino explained that the DILG’s presence in conflict-stricken and typhoon-devastated areas is just part of his job.
“Would the Secretary of the Interior, given all of the calamities that have befallen us—manmade and natural—be of service if he were absent from the scenes? So that is just but the function of the job,” he added.
When asked if there are people who have declared their ambition to become president, Mr. Aquino said, he knows of some people.
“I know of several people who want to be the opponent, and perhaps they are not saying that they are the opponents at this point in time. Some of them will be entertaining the idea perhaps that they might be our candidate also,” he said.
But Senate President Franklin Drilon, the LP’s vice chair, on January confirmed that Roxas will be their standard bearer in 2016.
Roxas was Aquino’s vice presidential candidate during the 2010 national elections but was lost to Vice President Jejomar Binay.
In July 2010, he filed an electoral protest against Binay, which is still pending before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
He was given Cabinet post by President Aquino as Transportation and Communications secretary and later named DILG secretary assuming the post vacated by the late Jesse Robredo, who died in a plane crash. RITCHIE A. HORARIO