MANILA, Philippines – According to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada could become a ‘viable option’ of the opposition for the 2016 presidential race if Vice President Jejomar Binay withdraws.
Trillanes presumes that with the continuing probe on the Makati building and Batangas property, Binay may ‘eventually back out’ from running for presidency.
“That’s how I see it happening, he (Binay) will eventually back out,” he said, adding that this will make Estrada a ‘viable option of the opposition’ as their standard bearer in 2016.
Expressing his interest in seeking higher office, Trillanes recognizes both Binay and Estrada as tough competitors.
However, Estrada has earlier said that he has no plans for the 2016 elections.
“For now, I can say that I have no plans of running for higher office. My focus is on my work here in Manila, to restore it to its former glory,” he said, mentioning Manila as a ‘bankrupt city.’
Estrada’s son, Senator JV Estrada, is pleased with his father not making any political move as he wants his father to retire in 2016.
“What I know is this will be his last position. I think he will retire. In 2016, he’ll be 79,” he said.
“Personally, I’d rather that he enjoy his retirement, enjoy the time with his family because more than half of his life was spent in public service,” he added.
Meanwhile, Senator Grace Poe, who is also eyed as a possible presidential candidate, considers Estrada as ‘politically relevant’ to the country.
“Erap (Estrada) will always be relevant in Philippine politics. He always has that unwavering percentage of the population that supports him. In the short time that he’s in Manila, he has implemented quite a bit of changes,” Poe said in an interview.
“Now there’s one obstacle away if he wants to run for higher office, then it will be easier for him. Can he run? Of course, anywhere,” she added, referring to the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the disqualification case against Estrada.
Asked for their opinion on speculations of Estrada joining the presidential race, Malacañang has remained mum.
“As far as that area is concerned, we will leave it to the political analysts to discuss and dissect,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said.
With report from Cyra Moraleda