Binay: I'm not too old to be president

Posted at 12/05/11 4:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - He turned 69 last month but that isn't stopping Vice-President Jejomar Binay from pursuing the presidency in the near future.

Binay, a former Makati mayor who catapulted to the second highest office in the land last year, believes he is still strong enough to take on the duties of the Chief Executive.

"I've been asking people- why don't you join me in my daily exercise? OK ako. I am physically fit. I even joined the Red Cross walk recently," he told ANC's Headstart.

Binay did not say if he will run for president in 2016. He said he is concentrating on the work assigned to him by President Aquino including the chairmanship of the Housing Urban Development Coordinating Council and his work as presidential adviser on overseas Filipino workers' concerns.

"Magtrabaho na muna tayo. Kung anuman ang responsibilidad na binigay sa atin ni Pangulong Noynoy, trabahuhin natin," he said.

"But I wont be a hypocrite naman. When the time comes, I'll be running," he added.

The vice-president, meanwhile, praised President Aquino and said his spotless image is something that the country can be proud of.

"I have always mentioned it even in international fora, if there is anything that we are so proud of these days it's the fact that we do have a president who despite the fact that he has served for one year already, hindi pa ho nababahiran yan ng issue ng graft and corruption," he said.

No to GMA house arrest

Binay said the electoral sabotage case against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo due to alleged fraud in the 2007 polls is an off-shoot of the cheating in the 2004 presidential election.

The vice-president thumbed down a proposal to allow Arroyo to stay under house arrest in La Vista subdivision, saying it would be a security nightmare.

He noted that the Arroyo camp is suffering from poor credibility when they gave conflicting statements of Arroyo's health.

"Kasi naman sinasabi nila, malala, serious. In a day or two, hindi na serious. When they were already petitioning for house arrest, ang sabi ko 'Uy mahuhuli na ito na hindi malala ang sakit nito,'" he said.

In the interview, Binay said he knew that he would win the vice-presidential race last year despite lagging in the surveys against Loren Legarda and then VP frontrunner Mar Roxas.

Binay emerged victorious in the election, beating Roxas by over 700,000 votes.

"I knew I was going to win. That was the problem of the surveys. All the while, they were overconfident. Ako naman, I did my job. Modesty aside, my chief of staff made a study and in his study, the margin of error was 500,000. He was very sure 'Sir, mananalo kayo ng 500,000,'" he said,

"I don't know why the surveys are different from the results but I remember what Senator Juan Ponce Enrile had been telling us during the campaign: 'The people will be in for a surprise,'" he added.