Former President and Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada announced his plans to run for president in 2016, Erap, as he is known for, has chosen former President and now Pampanga representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as his vice presidential candidate. The announcement came in the midst of controversy involving Vice President Jejomar Binay, who is also a running for president in 2016.
Mayor Estrada announced his presidential plans during the book launching of former House Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella in Tigaon, Camarines Sur. VP Binay was also set to attend the same event, but press was told that he will arrive. No reason was given, but speculations reveal that Binay is preparing hard for his upcoming debate with Senator Antonio Trillanes IV. The Binay-Trillanes debate is set on November 27, 2014 and is being organized by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP).
Erap, who ran for president on the second time in 2010 but lost to then-Senator Benigno Aquino III by a slight margin, has been very vocal in supporting Binay’s presidential bid, and the two have been friends for a long time. However, a source told Taho News that the former president said he decided to change his mind and calls his decision as ‘Plan B’ for the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
“In case the alleged corruption case against Binay will greatly affect his campaign, Erap can easily win by landslide.” The source said, adding that Mayor Estrada is likely to leave UNA temporarily and will create a mini-political party for the 2016 presidential election only.
Shortly after, a huge number of local reporters (including Tahoo News reporter Neil Abasan) immediately rushed to Veterans Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, where Mrs. Arroyo is under hospital arrest due to plunder charges. But despite no reporters were allowed to interview the former president, she was seen waving her wand and telling them, “I am sorry. I cannot comment at this time.”
“If this news is true, I will not be surprised if Erap and Arroyo will both win. Filipinos are known to be very forgiving people and love giving second chances. Considering that President Noynoy Aquino has already announced that he will not run again, (DILG Secretary) Mar Roxas is not a strong contender against Erap or Binay for that matter.” Veteran political analyst Marco S. Parinas told Tahoo News.
“(Senator) Grace Poe may be strong contender but her experience in politics is raw, so as Senator Nancy Binay. For Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto, she already announced that she has no plans for a higher position. On the other hand, senators Chiz Escudero and Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. have their own presidential dreams, too.” Mr. Parinas said when asked why Erap has chosen GMA as his vice presidential candidate, noting that this first-of-its-kind political strategy will inspire other nations.
Meanwhile, the Erap-Arroyo 2016 alliance has reached Malacanang Palace but President Aquino and Secretary Mar Roxas refused to comment on the matter. During a press briefing, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said “everybody is welcome to run for president and vice president. After all, I think Filipino voters are now matured enough in understanding political issues.”
Tahoo News has been trying to call the offices of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Nancy Binay for their comments, but our calls were never answered. Nevertheless, Erap and Arroyo are allegedly now choosing the name of their coalition political party. However, one of the expected choices is KAMPI-MUNA.
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