President Benigno Aquino 3rd on Tuesday said he is still hoping that Sen. Grace Poe will join the administration party as the running mate of Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd.
“Until the end of the filing of candidacy period, I don’t think we’re giving up. Iba pa rin iyong [It’s still different when] we get united,” Aquino said during a media forum aired on state-run PTV-4.
“We are hoping that there is less division among our forces allied in daang matuwid [straight path], and ensure there is continuity,” he added, referring to the good-governance mantra of his administration.
Poe remains the top choice of some LP members as Roxas’ vice presidential candidate but that window seems to be closing.
Aquino said he anointed Roxas, not Poe, because of his outgoing Interior secretary’s experience.
“At the end of the day, [the]track record, meaning [the]experience. I think I stated it categorically when I endorsed him [Roxas]. [Long has been the] service [of]Mar. Nakita naman natin ang [We have seen his] performance in so many other categories,” he added.
“As far as Grace is concerned, she is a fellow traveler of daang matuwid. But at the end of the day, is she as prepared as Mar?” Aquino asked.
Apart from Poe, the President said they are considering two other people who may team up with Roxas.
He, however, refused to reveal their names, citing ongoing consultation process.
When asked if Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo is among the possible vice presidential choices, Aquino said, “If Mar decides that Leni is ready, then that’s the time we talk to her.”
But he noted that the widow of former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo has done a lot for the country already.
“Leni has sacrificed a lot.. I owe it to her,” Aquino said, adding that he did not want to “add pressure” to Robredo.
Robredo is among the personalities supposedly being considered to run as Roxas’ running mate.
Her children, however, have been persuading her against running for higher office.
Robredo earlier said she is more interested in running for the Senate or seeking reelection.
She added that she would only run as Vice President if there were no other eligible candidates.
A civil society group has launched a “Leni Robredo for Vice President Movement” in case Poe decides to turn down Roxas’ offer for her to run as his running mate.