Aquino: LP bet hunt on

But admits ruling party still in consensus mode

President Benigno Aquino III said the administration coalition is now in talks with other political leaders, including Vice President Jejomar Binay, as it began its selection process for standard bearer for 2016.

But Aquino, in an interview in Singapore aired over state-run Radyo ng Bayan, begged off from answering questions on whether an outsider like Binay may be considered by the ruling party for the next presidential polls.

“Consensus is important for our party. One cannot speak on something when there is no consensus yet. So I am not at liberty to talk on behalf of the Liberal Party, and if I talk on an individual basis, perhaps the time is not yet right,” Aquino said.

Visit to Jollibee. This handout photo released
to AFP from the Straits Times shows President
Benigno Aquino III standing at the counter of
the Jollibee outlet in Singapore on Nov. 19.
Aquino was on a two-day working visit to the
Lion City. AFP
“At the very least, the consensus-building processes are being conducted,” the he added.

The President said he has not spoken with representatives from the United Nationalist Alliance aside from Binay.

“Well, I don’t talk to (UNA interim president and Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco) or others. I did talk to the Vice President. So I cannot say that I did not talk to any of them,” Aquino said.

But Aquino clarified that his discussions with Binay did not touch yet on the standard bearer issue.

“There were exchanges on politics, but we did not discuss yet who the candidate will be,” the President said.

Not once during the media interview did Aquino mention Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II, the presumptive standard bearer of the Liberal Party.

In a keynote interview during the forum The World in 2015 hosted by the magazine The Economist in Singapore, Aquino said presidential hopefuls have been packaging themselves as the one who will continue his reform agenda.

“In fact, people who are jockeying to replace me have kept on saying they will continue everything I do. So who manages to convince the electorate will get a job, and to convince, there has to be a track record of having done these things and battling the President’s interests,” the President said.

Earlier, Binay admitted he is still hoping to get the endorsement of the President for the 2016 polls.

“I think it (Aquino endorsement) is a legitimate hope. Every vote counts, and for a politician to be endorsed is a plus one. The President knows this,” Binay said in a recent television interview.

“It will be hypocritical to say one does not need the endorsement of the President. Of course you continue to hope that he will vote for you, that he will support you,” Binay added.

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