SENATE President Franklin Drilon said Friday he has given up on getting Senator Grace Poe to be the running mate of Liberal Party standard-bearer and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II in the presidential elections next year.
“In my view, Senator Grace Poe is a candidate for president. The writing is on the wall; she will run,” Drilon said.
Drilon, national chairman of the LP, said he would call on the party’s national executive council to convene soon to nominate and approve a vice presidential candidate to run with Roxas.
While Poe has repeatedly said she is uncertain if she will run for president, she has been going around the country making speeches, accompanied by Senator Francis Escudero, whom she said she wants as a running mate.
“She would not do that if she will not run,” Drilon said.
Drilon mentioned Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto and Camarines Norte Rep. Leni Robredo as possible vice presidential candidates, but both have already said they are not interested.
If Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV, both with the Nacionalista Party, wish to run for vice president under the LP banner, a coalition would have to be formed.
But Cayetano has said he is more inclined to run for president, while Trillanes said he will run for vice president, even as an independent candidate.
At the same time, Drilon dismissed speculation that Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was being considered as Roxas’ running mate. He said she will run for senator.
While he had said the party should give Roxas a free hand in choosing his running mate, Drilon said they need to help him look, since the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy is fast approaching.
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