MANILA – United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay’s political group, had already started looking for his possible running mate for next year’s elections.
“We have a search committee na talagang naghahanap ng magiging katambal ko,” Binay said in a radio interview.
(We have a search committee which is thoroughly looking for my running mate.)
Among those considered was Manila City Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
It can be recalled that Binay and Estrada ran in the 2010 elections for vice president and president, respectively. Binay won over to now Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas but Estrada lost to now President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
“Hindi na ho Erap-Binay, Binay-Erap na… Ang tawag doon “BEST”. Alam mo anong “BEST”? Binay-Estrada,” Binay said.
(It’s not Erap-Binay anymore; it’s Binay-Erap now. It’s called “BEST.” Do you know what’s “BEST”? Binay-Estrada.)
Binay and Erap met last month but have not talked about pairing up for the coming national elections. Although not yet officially declaring their tandem, Binay believed that Estrada would agree to be his running mate.
Erap, however, earlier stated that he was undecided between running alongside Binay or Senator Grace Poe, should Poe file candidacy for a presidential bid in next year’s election.
To this, Binay was quick to clarify.
“Ang sinabi ni President Erap, ‘Pagka siya ay kuwan… ‘Pagka si…’di bale na… Ang talagang sinabi niya kami ay magkakasama sa eleksyon sa 2016,” he said.
(What President Erap said was, ‘If he/she is… If it’s… Never mind’… What he really said was we will be running in the [May] 2016 elections.)
Prior Estrada, Binay named Poe as his choice for running mate. Poe, however, declined his offer. Binay also eyed Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte, but the mayor dismissed seeking higher post next year.