Ambush interview at Sofitel Hotel
A: No preferrence one way or the other for now. Sabihin na lang natin that we are studying both options.
Q: Yung update doon sa talks with VP? Do you have talks with VP sir?
A: Yes we do. I have talks with everyone. We have been having discussions nga hindi lamang with individual candidates kundi pati mga parties at ibat-ibang grupo. So, malapit na nga maayos ang aming usapan and at the moment that will be done I will announce exactly kung ano ang napag-agreehan namin at kung ano ang magiging kandidatura ko sa darating na halalan.
Q: Sir napagsabihan nyo na po ba yung NP sa plano nyo?
A: Lagi. Kagaya ng lagi kong sinasabi, you cannot run a national election kung wala kang party na kasama dahil masyadong mahirap lalo na during the elections para sa mga watchers and things like that. And of course kailangan ng national network para maging matagumpay ang kandidatura for any national position.
Q: Sir bakit po natatagalan kayo mag-desisyon?
A: Dahil hindi pa kami nakakapag-ayos nung lahat nung aming, the different arrangements with the different groups. Kaya’t para maging pulido and orderly tinatapos na muna namin.
Q: Sir how do you view so far the proposals ni (inaudible)…?
A: The proposals? I would say, as expected—alam naman natin na pagka usapan na ganyan, yung mga subject matter na pinag-uusapan namin, ay ganyan naman talaga. I wouldn’t call it even a negotiation, it’s just a continuing discussion. Of course kaya nga everyone has a slightly different ideal, slightly different approach, kaya’t we have to reconcile the different approaches. So we will see.
Q: Sir anong mga considerations ninyo in making your decision?
A: Madami. There’s no single – shall we say – variable that determines one way or the other, it’s really a combination of many many things. You know we talk about the actual conduct of the campaign, we talk about the platforms, we talk about the merging of groups, we talk about the relationships between different candidates. And then also we have to be realistic and look at these political situations in every part of the country. Hindi lang naman sasabihin, you do not make this decision yung sasabihin yung survey lang ng buong Pilipinas. Titingnan mo kung saan ka malakas, kung saan ka mahina, kung papano magtutulungan—all of those things.
Q: Sir hindi kayo nagdeklara sa amin ngayon, hindi nyo rin sinasabing tatakbo pa kayo. Pero for sure tatakbo kayo sa mataas na posisyon?
A: Well, hind pa naman ako magre-retire sa poltika so yes, tatakbo pa ako. And yes, we have been in the past months already talking about higher position than the Senate.
Q: Hindi na kayo babalik sir sa Senado?
A: Well, it’s still an option; it can happen. But as I said sa ngayon, sa nakaraang ilang linggo hindi na napapag-usapan yun at tinitingnan ko kung ano ba talaga ang available options para akin in view of all of the other candidacies that have been declared already. And as I said malapit lapit na tayo sa, we’re already October–mag-o-October na by the end of the week. So, very soon.
Q: Anong hinihintay mo sir? Within the week?
A: Within the next week siguro we’ll be able to makapag-announce na.
Q: Sir aside kay Binay sino pa yung kinakausap ninyo?
A: Lahat. You name it, I’m talking to them.
Q: Duterte sir?
A: Yes, I’m talking to my friend, the Mayor, and we’re trying to determine kung ano bang gusto nyang plano, kung ano ba talaga ang gusto nyang gawin. Sa ngayon parang hindi pa sya nakakapag-decide. So that’s another undetermined variable.
Q: So yun po ang hinihintay ninyo yung desisyon ni Duterte kaya hindi pa kayo makapag-decide?
A: That’s one of the things.
Q: Sir yung “soon” mo ba is by September 30 or (inaudible)…?
A: We haven’t set a specific date but we are working around those dates. Wala na, we are palapit na tayo sa deadline e so hindi na talaga pwedeng mag-antay pa.
A: Well he has annouced it many times. Yes.
Q: Senator you talked about polarizing politics in your speech, we’re you referring to the Aquino administration?
A: Yes, I am. But it’s not only the Aquino administration. The kind of polarizing politics that I spoke about seems to have crept in to our political system. It even is become part of governance already, and that I think is not a good development and that we should try and take a step back and remind ourselves that we are not fighting each other. That kung sino man ang kapwa Pilipino mo hindi sila ang kalaban kundi sila ang inyong kakampi para sa ikabubuti ng bansa.
Q: SIr kung tatakbo si Duterte, si Duterte o si Binay?
A: We’ll see, kung tatakbo. E hindi naman natin malalaman. Hindi pa natin alam kung anong gagawin ni Mayor Digong so we will have to wait for his plan also.
Q: Sir kung sasabihin ni Mayor Duterte na tatakbo sya, malaking factor ba yun sa iyo?
A: I don’t know kung malaki o maliit but syempre mababago ang political landscape di ba pagka pumasok sya so of course it’s going to be part of the assessment.
Q: Sir, me possibility bang tatakbo ka as President? Yung totoo sir?
A: Right now, as I said we are taking with the different groups about a higher office.
Q: …You talk to Sen. Manny Villar, what’s his advice to you?
A: We talk almost every other day, especially now that palapit na tayo sa deadline.
Q: Anong advice nya sir, kasi baka three NP senators might run for vice president?
A: Well we talk not only to seek his advice but also to come to a decision as to what the Nacionalista Party will do.
Q: Sa advice po na binigay sa inyo meron na po ba kayong preference?