MANILA – With the national elections nearing, Senate President Franklin Drilon reminded the Filipino voters not to rely on ratings but to consider the qualifications of the candidates in choosing whom to support and vote for.
“Mayroong sapat na panahon para matingnan natin yung kwalipikasyon ng susunod na pangulo ng ating bansa… Para sa akin, ang titingnan natin yung background – kung iyon ay karapat-dapat mamuno sa ating bansa,” Drilon said in an interview.
(There is enough time for us to examine the qualifications of the next president of our country… For me, we should be looking at the background – whether the candidate is commendable to lead our country.)
For next year’s presidential bid, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas has been eyed as the standard-bearer of political group Liberal Party (LP). Drilon has been the vice chair of LP.
“We will field a complete slate from the president down to the councilor in every city and municipality of this country… Yes, Secretary Mar Roxas is our tentative candidate,” Drilon confirmed in a separate interview.
“No one else has declared in the Liberal Party that he/she is interested in getting the domination of the party. It so far as the President is concerned, he has said that he will make his endorsement or anointment after the SONA,” he added.
However, unlike United Nationalist Alliance’s (UNA) possible presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay, Roxas has not been topping the presidential preferences surveys.
But Binay could not be complacent with his standing as Senator Grace Poe has been following him closely behind in the rankings.
Roxas and Poe, for their part, have not yet declared their interest in joining next year’s presidential race. Binay has been the only politician who has already publicly declared seeking higher office in the coming national elections.
“Mar, right now, is engaged in presenting himself as a viable candidate without making the formal announcement. He’s beginning to strengthen the party to the grassroots. And certainly, he has his eyes on the presidency and we believe he’s the most qualified,” Drilon said, regarding Mar’s candidacy.
“The difficulty at this time is Mar has not declared; the President has not made his announcement. Grace has been trying to decide,” he added.
With regards to the presidential preferences polls, Drilon claimed that these were only the ‘perception of the public for a particular period’ which showed the ‘electability for a particular period.’
Drilon also called on for an intensified voter’s education campaign. He hoped that the country’s next president will be someone with a good record.