MALACAñANG is not in any way intimidated by former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada’s victory at the Supreme Court which gave rise to speculations that he may gun for the presidency once again in 2016.
In a press briefing moments after the SC announced its decision, Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that while they have no clear consensus yet on who will be the administration’s standard bearer in next year’s polls, President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s endorsement will be lethal for any opposition candidate.
“Our position has always remained the same, that if the people will rally to the government, to the administration, when they see that this government continues to provide for its people. We have done so many reforms. We have provided universal healthcare. We provided poverty alleviation programs and all these things. We have done good governance for the last four years,” Lacierda said.
“Our position is the best way for the people to rally behind good governance is that we continue to provide good governance,” he added.
Lacierda refused the entertain questions regarding the possibility of Estrada’s running in 2016.
Estrada has been known for his “magic” especially among the poor. But Lacierda said the mayor’s charisma may not stand against “good governance.”
“If the people see that we have raised the standards of governance; when people see that their concerns are being met; that when the poor are being taken care of, we’re improving the services of governance, people will see that and people would like to have that continue. So that’s the essence of governance, good governance,” the Palace official said.
Lacierda described Aquino’s relationship with Estrada as “cordial,” noting that when the president’s mother, the late President Corazon Aquino was ill, Estrada paid a visit.
“I don’t know when was the last time they spoke to each other, but President/Mayor Erap was here during the audience with the Pope,” he said.