MANILA – The Liberal Party is at the “consensus-building stage” in selecting its candidate for the 2016 presidential election and may not be open to the idea of selecting Vice President Jejomar Binay.
On Tuesday night, when asked whether Binay will be considered as the standard bearer of the party, Aquino did not give an answer saying instead that consensus is already “being conducted.”
“For our party, consensus is important. It is not acceptable that someone would speak about something that we have not agreed about yet. So I am not at liberty to talk on behalf of the Liberal Party, and if I talk on an individual basis, the time is not yet right,” said the President.
He also said that he is not denying that he is currently in talks with any representative from the opposing party United Nationalist Alliance given that he speaks with the vice president.
“Well, I don’t talk to Toby Tiangco (UNA interim president and Navotas congressman) or others. I did talk to the vice president. So I cannot say that I did not talk to any of them,” said Aquino.
The President also shared that his recent conversations with Binay are mostly pleasantries.
“I’m sure he saw me off somewhere. We had another encounter after that. Like ‘thank you for sending me off.’ Just that. I think that was before I left for APEC (Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation) and the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) summits [in China and Burma],” said Aquino.
Moreover, the President disclosed that the Liberal Party is already selecting its standard bearer.
“I have been thinking about that and I’ve been pushing for a consensus, a [choice] that would be agreeable to all the groups who support me, who supported me before and who support me now,” said Aquino.
He said that the candidate whom he needs is someone who will be able to execute all the reforms that the current administration has started doing.
“So to make sure of that, it is important to have consensus, the agreement of everyone to carry one who would become the face of our platform of governance,” he explained.
The President likewise said that he is no longer thinking of reelection given that he is doubtful of what he will do once his term ends.