I believe Binay is going to be the next President, says Estrada
MANILA - Senator Jinggoy Estrada is offering his position as president of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) to Vice President Jejomar Binay following Binay's decision to bolt the PDP-Laban and form his own political party.
"PMP naman will always be supportive of Vice President Binay. Whether he forms his own political party, I think the PMP will merge with his political party. Ako naman as president of the PMP, I'm offering him my position as president of PMP if ever he wants to join our political party," Estrada told reporters at the sidelines of the Senate session Monday.
Asked why he is willing to give up his position to Binay, Estrada said: "I believe that he is going to be the next president."
He said that Binay has not discussed with him the possibility of running together in the same ticket in the next elections.
While saying that the controversies on the pork barrel scam has somehow affected his political plans, he said that this will not stop him from pursuing his plans.
Estrada said he still has no plans now on whether to run for a higher position in 2016, saying that it is a matter of "destiny."
"Well, of course kahit paano may epekto iyon. Lahat ng mga fabricated stories na ginagawa ng mga bagong whistleblowers. Ako naman I can fight it out in court, kung saka-sakali. Pero iyong epekto sa akin nitong isyu sa PDAF, of course nakakaapekto iyon. Pero when I go to the provinces during my out-of-town trips, wala namang epekto," Estrada said.
"Alam mo hanggang doon na lang sila eh. Kukuha sila nang kukuha ng testigo na mag-aayusan sila, lulutuin nila, susuportahan ng administrasyon, lokahan na," he added of the witnesses testifying against him in connection with the pork barrel scam.
CAYETANO-TRILLANES IN 2016?
Meantime, the Nacionalista Party has yet to decide on its plans for 2016.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano said the party will meet at the end of the year to explore its future and see if the party is still "welcome" to remain in a coalition with the Liberal Party.
Cayetano admitted that he has been entertaining the possibility of running for higher office but quickly added that nothing is definite yet.
"We are not discounting the possibility of higher office, but again when? 2016, 2022, 2028? Who will the president endorse? Will the NP-LP coalition survive? These are all still questions there," Cayetano told reporters.
"Nakakalimutan natin minsan na nine months pa lang nakakatapos ang eleksyon. So I think unfair sa tao that after the election, ang susunod na election kaagad ang atupagin especially since people still want to see what our capability is. But [it] will be hypocrite naman to say that it's not part of something that you will want in the future or something that you will aspire for."
Asked about the possibility of him teaming up with Senator Antonio Trillanes as his vice presidential candidate, Cayetano said that it has been discussed "casually," describing him as an "excellent choice" but that nothing is "written in stone."
Saying that the NP has "4 or 5 presidentiables (sic), " he said that the party has agreed not to let politics get in the way of party unity.
On Binay's plan to form a new party, Cayetano urged the vice president to first respond to charges of corruption against him and his associates.
"Ang partido is supposed to reflect your ideals. Ang magha-hound talaga kay VP Binay at sa bagong partido 'yung corruption issues. Ayaw nilang sagutin. Until now, ayaw magbigay ng strong statement ang vice president kung susuportahan pa rin niya ang mga kaalyado niya," he said.
"I wish them all the luck dahil napakahirap bumuo ng partido and then sinusundan ka ng corruption issues. If I were in his camp, kung ako ang adviser niya, I'd say the same thing. All of these rumors, all of these issues that have been hounding [him], you have to make a statement dahil hindi mo matataguan."
BONGBONG KEEPING OPTIONS OPEN
Senator Bongbong Marcos, also of Nacionalista Party, is keeping his options open for 2016, but said that any political decision would have to be made "at a later date."
"Ang usual policy I think, kahit sino pare-pareho naman siguro ang aming pag-iisip: Just keep all our options open and see what the future will bring," Marcos told reporters, adding that "in all likelihood," he can also run for reelection in the Senate.
Quoting party president Manny Villar, Marcos said that the NP will be involved in the elections "in one way or another" but nothing is clear yet for now. He described the NP-LP alliance as "strong" and "functioning very well."