MANILA, Philippines-Senator Grace Poe on Monday admitted that President Benigno Aquino III talked to her about the upcoming 2016 elections when they met last week in Malacanang.
The lady senator, however, clarified the President made no direct offer whether the ruling Liberal Party (LP) will get her as candidate for vice president or president.
”There was no firm offer. No particular position has been mentioned but what (is) important for him is to continue the reforms by whoever will replace him,” Poe said in a media interview.
The meeting between Poe and the President took place on Tuesday last week, a day before President Aquino left for a state visit in Chicago and Canada.
Poe said the President told her that he has until June to decide about the LP’s 2016 plans.
She said President Aquino told her that they will meet again after the Chief Executive’s four-day state visit.
”I cannot say exactly when we will meet again because I know he has other priority,” she added.
The senator, who topped the 2013 senatorial elections, said former senator and now Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas II arrived late during her meeting with the President in Malacanang.
When asked if she is open to run with Roxas, Poe replied: “I cannot say who I’m open to run with because at this point, I’m still considering whether I’m actually going to run.”
Senate President Franklin Drilon said he was not aware about the meeting between Poe and the President.
Drilon said President Aquino, as chairman of the ruling party, has the prerogative as to whom he (President Aquino) would like to meet in relation to the 2016 national elections.
”That is part of the duties of the President as chairman of the party to seek the views of every sector,” Drilon, LP vice chairman, said in separate media interview.
Drilon said Roxas is the party’s presumptive presidential candidate.
”But of course we have to seek the opinion of highest official of the land and our party chairman,” Drilon said.
He said President Aquino has been doing consultations with regards to the next elections and “I do not want to preempt him.”
”As LP vice chairman, I will rely on the judgement of the President. He has the say,” Drilon said.
Based on the latest surveys for possible presidential candidate, Poe is already in the second spot behind Vice President Jejomar Binay who declared intention to run as president right after he won in 2010.
Poe said she will consult with her mother, Susan Roces, the possibility of her running for higher office in 2016.
Poe’s father, former movie actor Fernando Poe Jr. ran but lost in a controversial presidential election won by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 2004. PNA