MANILA, Philippines – Former Senator Manuel Villar Jr has not indicated any plan to run for president in the 2016 polls. It's not likely, said his wife Senator Cynthia Villar, although she didn't entirely dismiss the idea. But if there's one thing she is certain about, her husband will "never" agree to run for vice president.
"Villar as vice president, never. Kaya hindi naman niya pinapansin (He's not paying attention to the talks)," Villar said on Wednesday, November 26.
The Nacionalista Party (NP) is one of the country's biggest political parties. Former Senator Manuel Villar, its president, ran for president in 2010 but lost to President Benigno Aquino III. The party pulled a surprise when it coalesced with Aquino's Liberal Party for the 2013 midterm elections.
Less than 2 years before the polls, only Vice President Jejomar Binay has announced categorial plans to seek the presidency. The administration's Liberal Party has yet to decide if it is fielding its president-on-leave Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.
Binay identified Villar as a potential running mate. But Senator Cynthia Villar dismissed this. "Iyon ang pine-press release niya pero hindi naman magra-run si Senator Villar as vice president, never. Kaya hindi naman niya pinapansin (That is what he said in his press release. But Senator Villar is not running for vice president. Never. This is why he's not paying attention to it)," she said.
3 possible choices
The NP has 3 senators who are perceived to be considering a run for the presidency in 2016. Senator Villar confirmed this. In denying her husband's plans to run again in 2016, she said: "Ang alam ko lang na possibility si Bongbong, si Alan at saka si Trillanes."
She's referring to NP senators Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV. She said all of them are conducting their own internal surveys to test their chances. "Sila mismo, meron. Kaniya-kaniya (They conduct their own)," she said.
On the possibility that her husband could be persuaded to run again, she said: "Ewan ko ha, kasi siya (Manny Villar) naman magde-decide pero para sa akin, walang indication na gusto niya," she said. (I'm not really sure but he will be the one to decide. There seems to be no indication that he is interested.)
She said she prefers a "simple life."
She said the NP will likely decide early next year if it's fielding a presidential candidate. Candidates will not need to file certificates of candidacy until October 2015. – Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com