LP now has 2 top VP bets: Noynoy, Kiko

August 9, 2009

August 08, 2009 04:25:00
Leila Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer


MANILA, Philippines — The Liberal Party may soon be caught in a predicament it would love to be in.

With Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III now touted as a possible vice presidential candidate, the Liberals will have two strong choices when they pick the running mate of their standard-bearer, Sen. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, a party leader said Friday.

Their other vice presidential choice would be Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Muntinlupa Rep. Rozzano “Ruffy” Biazon told the Philippine Daily Inquirer (parent company of INQUIRER.net).

Pangilinan has already signified his intention to join the vice presidential race.

“We will cross the bridge when we get there,” Pangilinan said, when asked about the possibility of him and Aquino contending for the No. 2 slot in the LP presidential ticket.

Asked about the possibility of him teaming up with Roxas, Aquino the other day said he had no plans to run for a higher office “as of now.”

Enough talent

“Senator Noynoy is a credible, capable, qualified and strong candidate for VP. Senator Kiko is (of) the same caliber,” Biazon said, adding the party would wind up with a good candidate regardless of who it would choose between the two.

It also indicates that only the Liberal Party, among the contending political parties, could fill up the top two posts in its 2010 slate without having to import candidates, said Biazon, LP vice president for the National Capital Region.

“The LP has a good problem—it has enough talent to form a formidable presidential-vice presidential team by itself,” he said.

Political landscape changed

Noynoy Aquino’s public stature appeared to have received a big boost in the wake of the massive adulation Filipinos showered on his mother, the late former President Corazon Aquino, during her funeral on Wednesday.

Parañaque Rep. Roilo Golez has said that the senator’s diplomatic handling of the appearance of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at his mother’s wake also lifted his political stock.

Biazon said that in case Senators Aquino and Pangilinan both decided to run for vice president, the Liberal Party would institute a selection process to determine its final choice.

“The political landscape has changed in the post-Cory scenario and the Liberal Party stands to gain from that change,” Biazon said in a statement, citing the “Cory Magic.”

LP short list

Another LP member, Valenzuela Rep. Magtanggol Gunigundo, said the party has yet to make up its mind on who to field for vice president.

“Sen Aquino has the credentials to be in the LP short list of VP bets. Sen Kiko is in it also. LP is in the process of selecting a VP bet that will best complement and boost the chances of the LP presidential bet,” Gunigundo said in a text message. With a report from Michael Lim Ubac

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