VICE President Jejomar C. Binay on Sunday warned the country cannot afford to elect an inexperienced President into office in 2016, given the number of serious problems it is already facing.
“I sincerely believe that the issue in this coming election, for the presidency particularly, is experience and competence... The country cannot afford inexperienced leaders,” Binay said in a statement issued from Cagayan de Oro City.
He added that many of today’s problems would not be so serious if the national leadership were more experienced and competent.
Binay, who is a frontrunner in early polling for 2016, did not name any politicians in his statement but appeared to be referring to neophyte Senator Grace Poe, whom President Benigno Aquino III has tried to recruit to run for the Liberal Party in 2016.
Poe has repeatedly admitted that the name of her father, the late movie star and losing presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr., was the biggest factor in her winning the senatorial race in 2010.
In the last election, she dropped her husband’s surname and ran as Grace Poe, and became the number one ranking senatorial candidate.
Over the weekend, former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada—the best friend of Poe’s father—urged the senator to run under the opposition banner, hinting that he could not support her if she ran for the Liberals.
Other politicians who have expressed an interest in running in 2016 are the Liberal Party’s presumptive candidate, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr., former senator Panfilo Lacson and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Before he was detained on plunder charges, Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. had also said he wanted to run.
In his statement, Binay said Filipinos risked perpetuating the problems besetting the country today if they entrusted the next government to those without experience and competence.
In contrast, Binay pointed to his 20 years as mayor of Makati and his leadership of several government agencies as proof of his experience and competence.
Despite the numerous attacks against him, Binay said he is more determined to pursue his bid for the presidency in 2016 “to bring experience and competence” to the national leadership.
Renato Quicho, Binay’s spokesman for political concerns, said the Vice President’s detractors were clearly trying to try him by publicity by launching fishing expeditions for evidence.
On Saturday, the Vice President vowed he would not back out of the presidential race despite persistent reports of corruption against him and his family.
Speaking before the National Conference of Employers at Marriott Hotel in Pasay City, he said the accusations and lies would not stop him from running.
His daughter, Senator Nancy Binay, said it was ironic that President Aquino was looking for a candidate from outside his own party.
“We have heard some high officials of the Liberal Party, their statement is that Mar [Roxas] is their candidate, but the President himself, up to now, has yet to say that its Secretary Mar,” the senator said.
The senator added that she was baffled why the President would spend time looking for a candidate for the Liberals when Roxas, a party member, is available.
Roxas, opted to run for vice president in 2010 to give way to Aquino’s presidential bid following mounting calls for him to run after his mother, former President Cory Aquino, died of colon cancer.
Although Aquino served as congressman for nine years and senator for three years, his competence for the presidency was questioned due to his “poor performance” in Congress.
“Why look for another candidate? What seems to be lacking with Secretary Mar? What’s the President looking for? Why can’t he endorse Secretary Mar?” asked Binay.
Roxas, who was defeated by Binay in the vice presidential race in 2010, has been faring poorling in opinion polls for the 2016 elections.
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