Marcos 'flattered' to be Binay's possible VP

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr said he was “flattered” to be eyed as a possible running mate of Vice President Jejomar Binay even if their families were on different sides of history.

The son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos said he and Binay met last month but discussed “another topic,” not the 2016 presidential elections. Binay was a human rights lawyer during the Marcos regime, and a supporter of the elder Marcos' political rival, the late President Corazon Aquino.

Still, the senator welcomed continued reports of a possible tandem with Binay.

“I am flattered to be considered but all decisions made at a national level will have to include consultations with my party,” said Marcos, referring to his Nacionalista Party (NP).

While in Davao City last week, Binay said Marcos was among the politicians his search committee is considering to be his running mate.

The Vice President launched his presidential bid on July 1 but has been unable to find a vice presidential candidate so far as he faces the worst corruption scandal in his political career.

Marcos said he is in discussions with the NP and other politicians about 2016.

Lahat naman ng mga potential candidates, mga partido ay lagi kaming nag-uusap on a party-to-party level, on an individual level, through friends, lalo ngayon maraming speculation ano mangyayari at di maliwanag sino ang tatakbo. We have kept the lines of communication open,” Marcos said.

(All the potential candidates, the parties, we are always talking on a party-to-party level, on an individual level, through friends, especially now that there is many speculation and it's still not clear who is running.)

Politicians are on a wait-and-see-mode for 2016 as President Benigno Aquino III delivers his 5th and last State of the Nation Address (SONA) to Congress on Monday, July 27. In the coming days, Aquino is set to announce his chosen successor, expected to be Liberal Party (LP) president-on-leave Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

Marcos has long been open to running for higher office in 2016 but he can also run for re-election as senator. It remains unclear if the senator is interested in retaining his seat, or running for president or vice president.

If he becomes Binay's running mate, the tandem will have to explain the shift in political alliances.

During martial law, Binay was a member of the human rights lawyers' group Mabini, defended victims of the regime, and was even imprisoned.

Cayetano: I'll run for VP if...

Marcos' partymate, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, is also considering running for vice president after initially saying he is only eyeing the presidency.

The senator who has trailed in presidential surveys told Rappler that he never closed his doors on the vice presidency in response to questions about his original stance.

“If you remember my statement then, I said as president, mayor, governor, chief executive, the person in charge can implement the vision, values. The senator is more of oversight, proposing. The VP, it's how the president treats you. I'll only be tempted to run for VP if the president I'll be campaigning for is like a brother, father and we have the same values,” Cayetano said.

The NP secretary-general said he was willing to “help out” a presidential candidate through advice on implementing programs.

He said he was open to running with all possible presidential aspirants like Roxas and Senator Grace Poe but will definitely not side with Binay. Cayetano is a staunch critic of the Vice President, and is one of 3 senators leading the Senate inquiry into corruption allegations against him.

The senator said he will first do “soul-searching,” and check the results of surveys to determine what position he will vie for. His Senate term runs until 2019.

“My main factor is really spiritual. Is it faith despite the surveys, or is it wisdom you look at the numbers, the timing, your support. I am consulting people who are very close to me then the communities I've helped. They'll be honest enough to tell you the truth, on one sense they want you to win because you've helped them. The surveys will play a role. You want to run for the sake of winning to implement your vision and plan,” Cayetano told Rappler.

If Cayetano decides to run for vice president instead, he might go up against two partymates: Marcos, and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.

Trillanes has long declared his vice presidential ambitions. The senator said he will not abandon his candidacy even if Cayetano changes his mind and runs for vice president. – Rappler.com