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The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday said it was too early to speculate about any possible tandems for the 2016 national elections.
"It's too early to even speculate about VP Binay's running mate in 2016. But I guess it's never too early for political intrigues," Binay's spokesman Joey Salgado told GMA News Online in a text message.
He issued the statement after an article published Wednesday in the Philippine Daily Inquirer said "buzz in Manila's political circles" indicate that Binay may run with Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Estrada in the 2016 polls.
The article likewise said that Senator Francis Escudero also wants to be chosen as Binay's partner in 2016 as a "reward" for supporting him and President Benigno Aquino III in the 2010 national elections.
Escudero did not respond to queries made by GMA News Online. Estrada's staff, on the other hand, said the Senate president pro tempore is currently out of the country.
But Salgado maintained that it was still "too early" for Binay to consider either Escudero or Estrada to be his running mate.
As a backup plan, the PDI report said Escudero may run in tandem with Transportation Sec. Mar Roxas, who lost the 2010 vice presidential race to Binay.
Roxas ran under the under the Liberal Party (LP). He is LP president while Aquino acts as party chairman. Roxas has a pending electoral protest against Binay before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal. Not aware of talks
But on Wednesday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that she was "not aware" of any talks between Roxas and Escudero on any "planned political affiliation."
"From what I understand, Sec. Roxas has been focused on matters that concern the DOTC," she said during a press briefing in Malacañang.
"[But] as Sec. [Florencio] Abad says, in politics four years is a very long time," she added.
Terms of Chiz, Jinggoy
Estrada's term as senator will expire in 2016. By then, he will not be eligible to seek reelection.
On the other hand, Escudero's term will expire next year. He is expected to seek reelection but he has yet to indicate under which banner he will run.
Escudero had been mentioned as among those who may be fielded by the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in the 2013 senatorial polls but he hasn't been formally nominated by the coalition.
UNA was formed by former President Joseph Estrada's Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) and Binay's Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban (PDP-Laban).
Former President Estrada, Sen. Jinggoy's father, is the president of PMP while Binay is chairman of PDP-Laban. Jinggoy is PMP's secretary-general.
Escudero's staff told GMA News Online that the senator was open to becoming a guest candidate on the slate of any party or coalition but that he will probably stay an independent. — RSJ, GMA News