Governor Vi admits getting feelers from Aquino on 2016

BATANGAS, Philippines – Batangas Governor Vilma Santos Recto on Monday, July 20, admitted there are feelers from President Benigno Aquino III for her to run for a higher position in 2016.

Although Recto said she is not entertaining the possibility, she expressed gratitude to Aquino for “considering” her.

“Mga bali-balita...may mga pasabi. Thank you for considering me, pero hindi ko ine-entertain,” Recto told reporters in an interview on the sidelines of the inauguration of the e-Passport System in Malvar, Batangas. (There are news...there are feelers. Thank you for considering me, but I am not entertaining the idea.)

When asked what feelers she was getting from the President, Recto was quick to downplay the matter.

“Umm, 'wag na natin pag-usapan. Wala talaga 'yung formal invitation or usapan. Wala. Wala,” Recto said. (Umm, let's not talk about it. There is no formal invitation or talk [about 2016]. None. None."

There are talks that Recto, a Liberal Party member, is one of those being eyed as the running mate of Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II. Roxas is the ruling party’s presumed standard-bearer.

Roxas, for his part, is open to the idea of running with the governor.

"Well, bakit naman hindi? It's not for me to say. Pero tingnan na lang natin ang record," he told reporters in an interview on July 10. (Well, why not? It's not for me to say. Let's just look at the [track] record)

Recto, a 3-term governor, said she has no definite political plans for 2016 yet.

“Wala pa, kasi ang konsentrasyon ko ngayon, ang binibigyan ko ng time ngayon, ay to make sure maayos 'yung last term being governor of Batangas. Secondly, matapos 'yung movie ko with Angel Locsin. So sa ngayon 'yun lang ang focus ko,” Recto said.

(None yet, because my focus right now, what I'm spending my time on, is ensuring that my last term as governor would end well. Secondly, I want to finish [shooting] the movie with Angel Locsin. Right now, I'm only focusing on those.)

The President is still undecided on his top candidates for the 2016 presidential elections. (WATCH: #AnimatED: Spectacle of Aquino indecision)

The administration is still in negotiation with senators Francis Escudero and Grace Poe. Poe is leading in national presidential preference surveys while Roxas is lagging in surveys. Escudero is second to Poe among preferred vice-presidential bets. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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