MANILA, Philippines – A survey conducted among analysts and bankers showed Senator Grace Poe as the most preferred candidate “to steer the Philippine economy” and continue the reforms of President Benigno Aquino III.
A Bloomberg survey conducted in June showed Poe garnering 12 votes out of 23 analysts and bankers, as the “best choice” in the 2016 presidential elections. Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II got 4 votes while Vice President Jejomar Binay received 3 votes.
While Aquino’s efforts to turn the Philippines into a tiger economy are recognized by many, Jonathan Ravelas, chief market strategist at BDO Unibank Inc. in Manila, said the next president has a lot of work to do to ultimately achieve that goal.
“But we aren’t there yet. The next president has to have the will to stop corruption and boost infrastructure. In the case of Grace Poe, people perceive her as honest, somebody who will protect the anti-corruption drive,” Bloomberg cited Ravelas as saying.
Bloomberg reported that under Aquino’s term, the Philippines attained investment-grade ratings through his anti-corruption and revenue measures. It added that “the benchmark Philippine stock index has more than doubled since he took office, with economic growth exceeding 6 percent from 2012 to 2014.”
Poe, a first-time senator, topped the latest Pulse Asia survey on presidential choices, overtaking Binay and Roxas, who have both long desired the position. Binay defeated Roxas in the 2010 vice presidential race.
On June 10, Aquino met with Poe for the second time to discuss the 2016 presidential elections but still did not offer her any post. Aquino instead asked Poe to join his meetings as chief executive.
Although she ran under the ticket of the administration’s Team PNoy in 2013, Poe said she would like to remain independent in the event that she decides to run for president.
The ruling Liberal Party is expecting Aquino to endorse Roxas, however.
The President said he will announce his choice after his last State of the Nation Address end of July.
Binay himself is launching his candidacy on Wednesday, July 1, even as he and his family are hounded by corruption allegations. His son, Makati Mayor Jejomar Erwin Binay, is in a standoff with government authorities after defying a second suspension order issued against him by the Ombudsman. – Rappler.com