Binay on his VP: 'Considering' not same as 'offering'

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay clarified on Saturday, May 23, that when he says he is considering a person to become his running mate in the 2016 election, it doesn't necessarily mean he has talked or made an offer to that person.

He also said a search committee in his party, the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), has been formed to assess potential vice presidential candidates. It will make the necessary recommendations to him at the right time.

“Alam mo, sinasabi ko lang diyan, meron kaming search committee. Kino-consider namin [kung sino ang kukunin]. Kasi, 'pag sinasabing hindi tatanggapin, hindi naman namin inaalok, hindi naman namin kinukuha. Kino-consider pa lang,” he said. 

(We have a search committee. We consider who to get [as my running mate]. There are those who say they won't accept our offer, but we haven't made an offer, we're not trying to recruit them yet. We are just saying, we are considering them.)

Binay made the clarification in a chance interview in Cebu on Saturday, days after he said Senator Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte would be good choices for a vice presidential candidate.

Poe has since said Binay's party, UNA, only liked issuing press releases about this matter, but has not reached out to her. In any case, she said, she doesn't see a Binay-Poe tandem happening.

On the same day Binay said he was considering Duterte, Rappler learned that Duterte was meeting with Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, the Liberal Party's presumed standard-bearer, to explore possibilities for 2016. Nothing concrete came out of the meeting.

In the latest survey on voters' preferred presidential candidates, Binay remained number one, followed by Poe and Duterte.

Binay earlier reiterated his resolve to be the next president in order "to bring experience and competence” to Malacañang.

Feeling that Binay's statement was an attack on her limited number of years in government, Senator Poe responded by saying honesty over competence should be the consideration of voters in choosing the next Chief Executive. She was taking a dig at the string of corruption allegations against Binay that the Senate is investigating.

In the recent interview in Cebu – the transcript of which was provided the media Sunday – the Vice President said the others aspiring for the presidency may have competence but in limited areas of governance. He likened the country's search for the next president to building a house.

“Para lang bang may ipapagawa kayong bahay, kailangan mo ng karpintero, kailangan mo ng magaling na karpintero. Hindi mo kailangan ng tubero. Magaling ‘yong tubero sa paggagawa ng tubo. ‘Yong mga karpintero, sa paggagawa ng bahay. ‘Yong iba siguro, merong competence and experience, pero hindi executive experience,” he said

(It's like constructing a house. You'll need a carpenter, a good one at that. You don't need a plumber. Plumbers are good at fixing drainages while carpenters are experienced at building houses. Likewise, while others have competence and experience, they may not have executive experience.) Rappler.com