MANILA - Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III, son of democracy icon Corazon Aquino and national hero Ninoy Aquino, on Wednesday finally declared that he is running for president of the Philippines in 2010.
Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III declares he is running for president in 2010 at a press conference in Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City, September 9, 2009.
"Bayang Pilipinas, tatakbo po ako sa pagkapangulo sa darating na halalan. Itutuloy natin ang laban (Philippines, I will run for president in the coming elections. We will continue the fight)," Aquino declared in Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City.
The declaration was timed with the 40th day after the late President Aquino's death.
"Tinatanggap ko ang hiling ng sambayanan. Tinatanggap ko din ang bilin at tagubilin ng aking mga magulang. Tinatanggap ko ang responsibilidad na ituloy ang laban para sa bayan (I am granting the people's wish. I'm accepting my parents' request. I am accepting the responsibility to continue the fight for the country)," Aquino said.
The senator made the announcement after spending several days in the late President Aquino's favorite convent in Zamboanga City, which was one of the requests of his sisters before coming up with a declaration on his presidential run in 2010.
Aquino, meanwhile, said he is waiting for Senator Mar Roxas to decide on his request to become his running mate in 2010.
"Our party president (Roxas) has led us in difficult times. I've offered the slot to him. I'm awaiting his decision," Aquino said when asked who will be his running mate.
Roxas, the Liberal Party's (LP) supposed standard bearer, decided to withdraw amid clamors for Aquino's run for the presidency.
The LP president, who was present during Aquino's declaration, declined to comment on his possible vice-presidential bid.
However, in a previous interview over radio dzMM, Roxas said that Aquino had asked him to be his running mate.
"Sabi ko sa kanya, kung kalmado ka na... Nakapag-retreat ka na at gusto mo pa rin [akong tumakbong vice-president], mag-usap tayo ulit (I told him that if you have cleared your mind. After your retreat and you still want me to run for vice-president, we will talk again)," Roxas said during the radio interview.
He was relating to a conversation during one of the meetings he had with Aquino before he declared his withdrawal from the 2010 presidential race.
Aquino also announced during the press conference LP's partial senatorial ticket, which includes former Senate President Franklin Drilon, Muntinlupa Rep. Ruffy Biazon, former congressman Neric Acosta and Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros.