MANILA, Philippines – Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano confirmed that he wants to be president but said he is still studying whether or not 2016 is the best time to vie for the highest position in the land.
In his boldest statement about his plans for the 2016 polls, Cayetano admitted that he even hired advertising veteran Greg Garcia and started polling in preparation for the election.
“I am saying I want to be president of the country, to do great for God and country but is 2016 my time? 2022? 2028? Or never? I wanted to be mayor of Taguig but it never happened. I never thought my wife would be mayor. We’re polling. Why not,” Cayetano said on Mornings@ANC on Wednesday, March 5.
Pressed about his plans, he said, “I don’t wanna run. I wanna win.”
Cayetano was also open about reports he hired a foreign political adviser. The senator said he hired Garcia, who also produced ads for Vice President Jejomar Binay, widely seen as the leading contender for the polls. (READ: Cayetano: PH will fall under Binay presidency)
“I used a local adviser. He’s an expert and he’s really gifted by God in advertising but he used to run a firm that does a lot of work for Americans. His firm always uses foreign experts, whether American or Japanese but it’s a local company. They have a tie-up. When he gave up the firm, he went into political advertising. He did the VP’s ads, the ads of Ping Lacson. [He is] Greg Garcia.” (WATCH: Breaking Glass: Political Ads)
The senator confirmed a Rappler report that he will release ads in the coming weeks. Yet he said it is meant for his Presyo, Trabaho, Kita (PTK) programs.
“There’s no more pork barrel but there’s a gap between what people need and what’s delivered to them so we’ve been going around the country, anti-5-6 and livelihood projects, PTK. A couple of friends gave P2.5 million and we were thinking how to get more people to give to us or them directly and show people even without pork barrel, you can work. We thought, why not have regional ads?”
“If you test a program in Cebu or Dagupan, you can place regional ads.”
The senator said his team already has a concept but has yet to shoot the ad.
“Everyone who knows Greg Garcia knows he will always push for ads. When the Rappler people found out Greg is working for Alan, sooner or later ads will come out. Let’s see if we can do it,” Cayetano said.
‘I don’t want to be VP’
Cayetano reiterated that he will not run for vice president.
“I’d rather be senator or mayor than be vice president. People go to be vice president to [have] a stepping stone. Flat tire ka eh. Ano ba ang dinadasal ng VP? Ayoko sabihin dito. Ayoko ‘yun ang dasalin ko.” (You will be a flat tire. What does a VP pray for? I don’t want to say it here. I don’t want to pray that.)
He recalled that when he was vice mayor of Taguig, he had to deal with constant intrigues pitting him against the mayor.
Cayetano admitted he is already weighing his chances against Binay.
“I don’t look at my opponent, even in Taguig. I look at myself. Kalaban ko sarili ko. (I am my own rival.) Can I work harder, have better ideas, can I do better? In the survey, in certain areas in 2013, certain regions in country, I already beat VP Binay but is it a fluke? Why do they like me better there than others?”
He said he is checking if he is qualified, “if people see something in me.”
LP-NP alliance is crucial factor
Beyond his personal competence, Cayetano said a primary consideration is whether or not his Nacionalista Party (NP) and the ruling Liberal Party (LP) will again coalesce in 2016 as they did in the 2013 polls.
“The bigger thought is will LP and NP continue? Ang iniisip ko simple lang: 3 presidents magkasunod na mag-align, ang Pilipinas gigising tayo iba na but isang presidente bagsak na naman.” (I am thinking: if we have 3 good presidents in a row, we will wake up to a better Philippines but just have one bad president and then we fall again.)
Asked about other NP members who might also eye higher office in 2016, Cayetano said “everyone is planning.”
“Let’s just do our best. Ang presidency ay 10% lang planning. Si President PNoy, Cory, walang plano. Ang problema minsan ang natatalo, sinasabi destiny if the doors don’t open for you. (The problem is those who lose say it’s destiny.)
“But once the doors are open, you have to take steps going there.” – Rappler.com