Suspects in the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund scam won’t win in the 2016 presidential race, said Presidential Communications Operations Office Sec. Herminio Coloma a day after Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago urged the public to spare the 2016 ballot from the lawmakers facing plunder charges over the pork barrel.
Three of the 38 people who were leveled plunder and graft-related charges before the Office of the Ombudsman them are incumbent senators: Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. Their terms will expire in 2016.
“It is clear that the people are outraged about the misuse of the PDAF, which is a public fund. We are hopeful that this outrage will show in how the people would elect their public servants and that they will vote for those who are honest,” Coloma told Radyo ng Bayan.
“The Philippines is a democracy. It’s the people who have the power to choose their public servants. The people deserve the government that they want,” Coloma added.
Coloma, however, said the Aquino administration is yet to train its sights on the 2016 polls despite a number of politicians being upfront with their political ambitions.
Vice President Jejomar Binay has already bolted the Partido ng Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan party and will form a political party for his 2016 presidential bid.
Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano of the Nacionalista Party has also thrown his hat in the 2016 derby.
Department of Interior and Local Government Sec. Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd, on the other hand, is the presumed standard bearer of the ruling Liberal Party since he had given way to then Sen. Benigno Aquino 3rd in the 2010 presidential race.
“The Aquino administration is not losing its focus on the task at hand, which is to institute reforms in accordance with our Philippine Development Plan,” Coloma stressed.
“Anybody is free to talk about 2016 but we won’t lose our focus amid these 2016 talks,” Coloma added.
LLANESCA T. PANTI