Bongbong, Miriam seen as other presidential bets

AFTER Senators Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV set their sights on the presidency in 2016, other potential presidential candidates emerged in Senators Miriam-Santiago and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

The announcement of Santiago, who said in March it was time to elect the country’s third female president, spurred speculations that she’ll announce her candidacy in 2016, but Malacañang shrugged off the speculations and said it had no reason to have any ill will against the outspoken senator.

But Santiago announced earlier this month that while she was elected judge of the International Criminal Court in December 2011, she had to step down because of her health. Santiago has been diagnosed as having chronic fatigue syndrome.

Marcos, on the other hand, said he is keeping his options open on running for president, but much remains to be done for the remainder of his term as senator and there’s no time nor space in his work to be discussing or planning for 2016.

“Of course, when 2016 comes, I will be a candidate,” Marcos told reporters in the regular “Kapihan sa Senado,” but when asked if he would run for higher office, he said: “It’s not yet time to talk about it. It’s still too early since there are still many things to do.”

Marcos, a member of the Nacionalista Party, said he does not believe there is a right or correct time to decide to run for president.

“For example, in August 2009, Senator (Noynoy) Aquino was not even a candidate. In May 2010, he was the President. It was so fast. So you can’t decide on the basis of what’s happening today... Many things might happen so you might be making the wrong decision because things change,” he said.

While he recognized that running for a higher office needs long preparations, he said the campaign would not like be for two years.

“I still believe it’s not yet time. It’s still too far,” said Marcos, belying claims that the NP has already asked its members to decide on what position they will seek in the coming elections.

Marcos said the party only aimed to discuss the scope of the NP’s involvement in the 2016.

“We talked about what the NP is going to do, its positioning and alliances, whether there will still be a coalition with Liberal Party,” he said, hinting that the real discussions on the party ticket will likely take place during the last quarter of the year.

“The decision was that the NP would definitely be involved in the 2016 elections. Just because Sen. Manny Villar is no longer a candidate, it does not mean that the NP will stop functioning as a political party,” he said.

“We still need to talk to our members, find out what they are thinking and assess the political situation for all our candidates,” he said.



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