MANILA – Following President Aquino’s announcement that he is not eyeing for a second term, the Liberal Party is now looking for the “right candidate.”
Secretary Mar Roxas, however remains as the party’s “presumptive candidate” according to allies in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“Mar has been the presumptive candidate. But as the ruling party running this country, we are all focused on supporting the projects and programs of the President,” said Samar Rep. Mel Senen Sarmiento, LP secretary general.
“We will have to follow the process under our party constitution in selecting our standard-bearer in due time, he added.
The President said that he is expecting reform-minded individuals to continue the policies started by the administration, according to Sen. Bam Aquino, an LP member.
“He will reveal the right candidate at the right time. It’s still too early,” the President’s cousin told reporters. “But for the LP, I think right now the presumptive candidate is Secretary Roxas.”
Sen. Ralph Recto, another member of LP also added that the party members are supporting Roxas, and that he does not know any member aside from him who is interested in running for President.
“We all know that he is interested in becoming President. Many in the party support it. I don’t know of anyone in the party is interested in running for President,” he told reporters.
The senator added that once endorsed by the President, the candidate will perform better in terms of ratings in the polls.
“That will always help. Whoever the President endorses will always help,” he said.
Meanwhile, Senate President Franklin Drilon added that President Aquino is studying the result of the surveys and what the people says, as it will always reflective of the decisions he make.
“I have said before that the President is sensitive to the surveys. He’s studying the surveys. And I’m sure that he will listen to his bosses, and he will act in accordance with the national interest,” Drilon said in an interview.
“Now he has come to the conclusion that the reforms he has started can be continued and preserved by electing the right leader,” he added.