MANILA – Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay, who has publicly expressed his interest on seeking higher office in next year’s elections, is still searching for a suitable running mate.
Binay’s political group, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), has already formed a committee in charge of looking for the party’s vice presidential candidate.
Throughout the search, UNA has mentioned names Manila City Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte and Senator Grace Poe. The said politicians, however, have not been inclined on running alongside Binay.
As of today, UNA has not yet officially named its vice presidential bid.
But according to Binay’s supporter and former Quezon Representative Danilo Suarez, several possible running mates are now being deliberated.
“Several names were mentioned, their options and conditions. All of the issues were discussed. But we need to pick one who will bring in votes, not somebody [who] has to be carried along by Binay,” he said in an interview.
Support for Binay
Suarez’ wife, Aleta, is Quezon’s representative for the third district. The couple’s son, David, is the province’s governor. Together, the family has vowed to campaign for Binay in the coming elections. They claimed that the people in their region also express support for the vice president.
“If the presidential election will be held in the coming days, VP Binay will get at least 80 percent of the votes in Quezon,” Suarez said.
Suarez, who is also a close ally of Pampanga Representative Gloria-Macapagal Arroyo, has also disclosed that the former president supports Binay. He states that Arroyo is thankful to Binay for his calls to put her into house arrest.
“That gratefulness might turn into a political decision… It’s not just her but the whole political machinery of Lakas will support the Vice President, Suarez said.
“GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo) has no official order but she already gave a marching order to more than 1,000 members of Lakas-CMD (Christian Muslim Democrats) to meet and provide supports to VP Binay whenever he visits their respective areas,” he added.
Both Suarez and Arroyo are Lakas-CMD members.
Despite Lakas-CMD supporting Binay, Suarez has clarified that a formal alliance between their party and UNA has not been officially forged. He added that Lakas-CMD president Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez is the only one who can make such announcement.