MANILA – A Jejomar Binay-Manny Pacquiao tandem for the 2016 presidential elections is one that members of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) would like to see, if they could have their way.
The news that the party is pushing for a Binay-Pacquiao line-up was reported on Monday’s episode of local news show, “24 Oras.”
Vice President Binay has expressed his openness to the idea, noting that the boxing legend and representative of Sarangani province is a “godly and nationalistic” man.
“At ang importante sa lahat maka-Diyos at makabayan,” Binay said of Pacquiao, adding that the latter has always shown willingness to show leadership qualities, as well as a desire to help.
On the other hand, Pacquiao said he has not yet thought about the possibility of a tandem with VP Binay.
Regardless, Pacquiao may be ineligible to run for the country’s second-highest seat, anyway.
One of the requirements stipulated in Sections 2 and 3, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution is that candidates for President and Vice-President must be at least 40-years-old on Election Day. Born December 17, 1978, Pacquiao will only be 37 years old come the May 2016 elections.
On the Vice President’s recent trip to Pacquiao’s hometown of General Santos City, the latter took time out from his rigorous training schedule to welcome the former, explaining that: “Bilang congressman, representative ng Sarangani Province, tungkulin namin na salubungin ang pangalawang pinakamataas sa Pilipinas sa lugar natin. Karangalan natin dahil hindi lang tayo nabisita kundi nabigyan pa tayo ng mga project dito, especially mga housing o pabahay.”
Pacquiao was referring to the purpose of Binay’s trip to GenSan, which was to distribute housing units as head of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council.
“Maraming mga isyung lumabas about sa ating Vice President pero isa lang ang sasabihin ko sa inyo. Ang mabuting tao, ang mabuting pulitiko hindi marunong manira ng kapwa,” the boxer added.
Pacquiao then assisted Binay in the distribution of t-shirts depicting Binay’s face with the slogan, “Kay Binay gaganda ang buhay.”
Among UNA’s other reported running-mates of choice are Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, currently detained for charges relative to the pork barrel scandal; and businessman Manny V. Pangilinan. Estrada has expressed his interest, while Pangilinan has turned the offer down due to business priorities.