MANILA, Philippines – There is no backing down for Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) standard-bearer said he will not concede his presidential bid after President Benigno Aquino III called on trailing candidates to unite against poll front-runner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte. (READ: Aquino calls for anti-Duterte alliance)
“Wala sa bokabularyo, wala sa sistema sa buhay ni Jojo Binay na nagwiwithdraw at tumatakbo sa laban (It’s not in my vocabulary, it’s not in the life system of Jojo Binay to withdraw from a fight),” said Binay in a chance interview with reporters after his miting de avance in Makati on Saturday evening, May 7.
A day before, Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II made a surprise announcement that he was ready for talks with Senator Grace Poe.
Poe, however, immediately rejected Roxas’ proposal, saying that they had nothing to talk about and that she had no plans of withdrawing from the presidential race.
On Saturday, Binay said neither he nor his camp has been approached by the President.
“Personally o kahit na dun sa mga malalapit sa ‘kin, wala namang natanggap na balita na gustong magkausap-usap kami (Personally and those close to me did not receive any invitations for us candidates to talk),” said Binay.
But is he open to having talks with his rivals?
“Magta-talk kami [para] magkaroon ng isang malinis at marangal na halalan (We would talk about having clean and honorable elections),” said the Vice President.
In his miting de avance speech, Binay also urged Aquino to leave “a legacy of democracy and election results that truly reflect the people’s will.” (READ: Binay: ‘True’ silent majority will choose me on May 9)
Based on voters’ preference surveys, Binay is ending his campaign in 4th place in the 5-way presidential race. The former survey front-runner only got 13% in the latest Social Weather Stations poll released on May 6.
Duterte is far ahead with 33%, followed by Poe with 22%, and Roxas with 20%. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago is in last place with 2%. – Rappler.com