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Will the "Balay" and "Samar" factions in President Benigno Aquino III’s Cabinet unite behind his preferred successor, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas?
The entire Cabinet is supporting Roxas’ presidential bid, Aquino’s spokesman Secretary Edwin Lacierda said Wednesday.
“The Cabinet is solidly behind the President’s choice,” Lacierda, who is identified with the “Balay” faction, told reporters at a press briefing.
The Palace official added that Cabinet officials are backing Roxas’ candidacy because they want Aquino’s reform programs to continue.
“Tumaya ang Gabinete. A number of them willingly served the country, and at the end of that six years, we would like to see a continuation of the good that President Aquino has done,” Lacierda said.
“The President has already endorsed Secretary Mar Roxas. We would like the benefits to the people to continue after 2016,” he added.
Last Friday, Aquino named Roxas as his preferred presidential candidate for 2016. The Interior secretary, a partymate and close friend of the President, accepted Aquino’s endorsement.
The factions in Aquino's Cabinet stem from the divide during the President's campaign in 2010.
The Balay group, headquartered at the Roxas family's complex in Cubao, Quezon City, is composed of Liberal Party members and former government officials who campaigned for Roxas as Aquino's vice-president.
Another group that supported the President in 2010, based at a house along Samar Ave. in Quezon City, worked for the Aquino campaign but not necessarily for Roxas. Some members of the Samar group reportedly supported then Makati City Mayor and now Vice President Jejomar Binay in the campaign.
During Roxas’ endorsement event, Cabinet officials aligned with the “Samar” faction such as Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. and Communications Secretary Hermino Coloma Jr., were in attendance. —ALG/JST, GMA News