BBM: What’s the next question? I don’t know yet which position. Walang pinagbago. I’m sorry. There’s no new development. Siguro ang napapag-usapan ngayon iyung deklarasyon ni Mayor Duterte na he is retiring from politics. I don’t how to take it kasi nagsabi na siya na baka tatakbo siya. May nagsabi na rin sa akin na hindi na siya tatakbo, hindi siya interesado sa higher position. Pero pabago-bago iyung kanyang position. So, we’ll see. I would like to wait until makausap ko siya ng seryoso para malaman kung ano ba talaga ang kanyang plano. That will affect of couse all the decisions that we are making. So, tignan muna natin kung ano iyung totoo. Para maging maliwanag ang political situation.
Q: Sir, I don’t understand. Ibig sabihin you want to negotiate with Mayor Duterte?
BBM: No. I want to find out from him what exactly is his plan. There’s no negotiation.
Q: But why do you want to know his plans?
BBM: So that we will know what everybody else is doing. You cannot make a decision like this without having a good idea about what the political terrain is and that political terrain is defined by the plans of other candidates and other parties, etcetera, all of these people.
Q: Do you want to be his vice-president or what do you want him to do?
BBM: I don’t want him to do anything. He will do want he wants to do. I want to know from him, what is your real plan? Totoo ba you’re retiring from politics o hindi? That kind of thing. That’s what we talk about all the time anyway. When I talk to the Mayor, we talk about other things, but we of course talk about politics. So, I guess it’s the same kind of conversation. Ano na? Ano ng plano? Same things you ask him, I suppose I’ll be asking him.
Q: Sorry po last na talaga.
BBM: You seem unsatisfied.
Q: Yung filing ng Sen, it’s almost the second week of September, are you filing for the Presidency or the Vice-Presidency?
Q: Either or parin?
BBM: Yes. We’ve been talking about higher office. So far, again, those decisions haven’t been made. So, we will have to see. I can still run for the Senate, I can go back to the province. I’m lucky I have all the options available. That’s my situation for now.
Q: Sa birthday niyo ba kayo magdedeklara?
BBM: Wala akong date para magdeklara. Birthday, hindi birthday. Wala akong date sa ngayon na magdedeklara. Basta’t magtawag ang Nacionalista ng press conference, palagay iyun na iyun. Wala kaming nakaschedule sa ngayon.
Q: So are you saying that the Nacionalista will be the one who will announce?
BBM: The Nacionalista has to announce what the Nacionalista Party will have to make a decision also. You will have to remember that the party is not only the three (3) Senators who are supposed to be potential candidates. The party is composed of governors, of mayors, of congressmen. Kaya’t maraming isyu sa local lalo na iba’t-iba ang sitwasyon ng aming mga magiging kandidato. Kaya’t kailangan talaga maging tama ang positioning ng Nacionalista sa darating na halalan.
Q: Sir, may tsismis po na iyung Nacionalista is supporting Grace?
BBM: There’s tsismis about everything. Most of it is wrong. Syempre it’s fun to speculate. I remember there was a report from a supposed insider, everybody took it for real. It’s not true. I know for a fact because it’s not what happened inside the Executive Committee of the Nacionalista Party. Kasi nga favourite sport nga ng Pilipino is pulitika, di’ba? So walang ginawa kung hindi magspeculate, magtsismis, haka-haka. But you know, it’s fun to do but do not take it as... You have to take it all with a grain of salt. Everyone is trying to find the best story that they can find. I suppose that’s natural.
Q: Sir, has the Nacional Party made consultations po sa mga presidential aspirants? May ganoon po bang ginagawa iyung Nacionalista Party?
BBM: Hindi. Wala kaming ganoon. We talk to the individuals directly. That’s a very strange process. Para kang nag-iinterview for a job. That is very strange, I don’t know what it will achieve. But I suppose, if that’s the way how their party wants to handle it, I suppose that’s the way of also getting to know the candidates, but generally speaking, those decisions are not made out in the public. Those decisions are made quietly and talking in private again with individuals and the leadership of the different parties. So, I don’t know what decision they have come to after all those interviews. Wala naman nagbago even after the interviews. I don’t really know how it affected their decision making process.
Q: Sir, may ongoing meeting pa rin po ba kayo ng NP? Nacionalista Party. Kasi nabanggit po ni Senator Cynthia Villar na nagkaroon kayo ng parang meeting last week.
BBM: Lagi kaming may meeting. Madalas we have a meeting. At least the Senators, we’re talking all the time. Pero iyung official na meeting, yes there was one last week. Again, we are planning siguro na kailangan at some point to have a general meeting ng lahat ng miyembro ng Nacionalista. But again, you know for the Presidency, only 2 candidates have actually declared. Neither of them have a vice-president. So, it’s hard to decide what’s going to happen. Sino ang dapat susundan because the issue of the vice-president is not a small one. Secondly, what the other parties are going to do or we choose to do is also an important part of it. So, the Nacionalista Party is technically still in coalition with the Liberal but that has loosen considerably since the 2013 elections. Again, that has to be redefined if we are to remain in coalition or if we are to disengage with the LP and to or at least be in alliance kahit na hindi magcoalition kung hindi makipag-alyado sa ibang partido. Yes, we have had all those discussions and those discussions happen not only in the formal meetings but one to one. Kung minsan pag nagkikita kami sa Senado, nag-uusap kami puro mga NP, iyun nanaman ang pinag-uusapan namin. Lalo na ngayon palapit na tayo doon sa filing, of course speculation is rife. We are trying to find our way as quickly as possible. You know, hindi namin kayo binibitin na walang desisyon. As much as kung maari, matapos na iyung decision making. Para makapag-announce na kami, makapagsimula na kami ng kailangan naming gagawin for the campaign and for the election. But it is really unclear. Everything is so unclear. It is a very unusual situation but that’s where we are now.
Q: Sir, kasama ba sa usapan iyung may mag gi-give way among the three?
BBM: Well, this is the other thing. Only Sonny Trillanes has declared. Even Senator Allan, may mga balita na pupunta siya sa LP, all kinds of stories. Kaya nga mahirap. Nobody has actually come out. The Vice-President is the only one, Secretary Mar is the only one, Sonny Trillanes siguro is the only, matagal na kasi siya nagsasabi na gusto niya magvice. Aside from that, there’s no one who has definitively said, I am running, I am not running, I am running for this postion. So, mahirap talagang tansiyahin kung ano ba talaga. But as I said before, syempre dahil napipilitan na ang lahat, dahil palapit na tayo. Isang buwan na lang darating na ang filing, we will have to make those decisions. So, we are slowly coming to a consensus. We are beginning to come to a consensus. just as much as I would like to say, because as usual, I don’t want to being up what the party’s doing. Whatever decisions are made, let the party make those announcements.
Q: Pero Sir, ano iyung puedeng barahang ilatag niyo with the NP para iyung win talaga, iyung support, solid support for you?
BBM: That you can win? Ultimately, iyan lang naman ang pinag-uusapan dito. Kung wala kang pag-asang panalo, bakit ka kukunin ng kahit sino? So, I think that is mainly the argument that you will make. That you can actually help the campaign, you can help the party, makakatulong ka sa ibang miyembro, madadala mo sila. Malaking bagay iyun, iyung mga bagay na ganoon.
Q: Sir, sabi niyo nagdedecide pa lang kayo, nag-iisip pa lang kayo ngayon regarding 2016, ano ba itong announcement ni Mayor Duterte, in case na totoo, will that help?
BBM: Yes because kahit papaano that will clarify the situation. Kung he’s out or he’s in. So, that will immediately make a big difference in our decision making. So, at least that option or that variable, wala na iyun. So, mas magiging maliwanag.
Q: Sir, sa birthday niyo, may surprise announcement?
BBM: It’s the same question.
Q: Pero Sir, is there any party na nag-assure sa inyo ng support?
Q: Hindi, aside from Nacionalista of course.
BBM: Well, mostly kasi kausap namin individuals. Alam niyo naman, matagal na rin kami, my family has been in politics for a long time and we have many friends in politics. So, kung minsan kahit na nasa kabilang partido sila, we talk to them as individuals. They have expressed their support. They cannot bring their party with them, but at least sinasabi nila doon sa amin, mananalo ka. So, that’s something.
Q: Mananalo ka in what position? VP or president?
BBM: You know, you can frame the question any way you want. They usually say, kahit na anong itakbo mo, iboboto ka namin. Tutulungan ka namin.
Q: Pero is there an internal parang struggle making for lack of a better within the party because there’s 3 of you wanting to fight for the same position?
BBM: Are we all... for the same position?
Q: Well technically.
BBM: How do you know that? I don’t know that. See, that’s it. People are making assumptions. People are making assumptions that cannot really be made simple because kung kami hindi namin alam. How can anyone else know? That’s the simple situation. So, at least there is struggle, no. I wouldn’t say that. A struggle somehow implies that we are fighting with each other. No, I don’t think so. I think we continue to do the best that we can. Again, I suppose the party has to make a choice which it should at some point, then you are trying to put yourself in the best line. I don’t think that any of my party members are putting any other party members down. That’s not the way we do things in the Nacionalista.
Q: Sir, last week, inulit ni VP Binay na parang gusto ka niya, open siya maging vice-president ka?
BBM: Actually he has been saying that. He says it to the media. Nasasabi rin niya in private. He sends. Yes, that offer has been on the table since for almost a month now. So, that’s one of the... But again, no decisions have been made.
Q: Pero anong chance noong offer?
BBM: Alam niyo siguro gagayahin ko na si Mayor Digong. I’m running for Governor of Ilocos Norte. Tapos.
Q: In scale of 1 to 10, Sen?
BBM: There’s no such thing.
Q: Are you taking it seriously, the offer?
BBM: That’s not the way these decisions are made.
Q: Pero are you taking it seriously?
BBM: Of course, I am taking it seriously. This is my life. I’m at a crossroads here. There is no more serious decision that I have ever made in my political life than what I am going to make for 2016. Of course, I’m taking it seriously. People always ask, anong percentage, on a scale of 1 to 10. That’s not the way that these decisions are made. You say, okay I’m three tenths of the way there, so kung iyun na pala ang gusto mo, gawin mo na. Bakit mo pa dadahan-dahanin? If that’s what you want to do, then go and do it. Don’t say I’m only half way there, convince me, convince me. That’s not the way it’s done. You look around and you see what are the circumstances that are prevailing in the political world and it’s more a question of judgment and balance and assessment. There are thousands of variables involved. You must balance all of those variables and try to find the best solution. It is not a straight line that you are trying to get from here to there. if you want to run and you’re waiting for everybody to convince you, forget it. If you want to run, run. Don’t wait. Sasabihin mo, I’m almost going to run, kaunti pa, kaunti pa. Hindi. Kung gusto mo tumakbo, tumakbo ka. So, you don’t do it that way. You balance many, many variables and try to find the best answer.
Q: Sir, may ganyan.
BBM: Mayroon nga. Mayroong ganyan pero siguro iba na siguro. Para pambihag na iyun para palabasin na maraming supporter. But I think, ang puno’t dulo ng bawat kandidato, lalo na pag national, ganoon ang iniisip. Hindi iniisip na by percentage. Tinitignan maganda ba ang sitwasyon? Kaya ba? Imposible ba? Kung tatakbo ako, ano ang kailangan kong gawin? Magagawa ko ba? Do I have the time? Do I have the money? Do I have the support? All of those things.
Q: Do you have the money?
BBM: That’s another one of those issues. We don’t talk about money outside the party. The money will come if you have good support. Kung malakas ka. That’s why you try to put yourself in the best position that you can.
Q: You have those three’s that you mentioned? Iyung money, support, and…
BBM: If you have everything that you need, then run. Why will you wait? Hindi ba? Nasayo na lahat. Let us say you are in the position of Senator Aquino in 2009. O ano pa? mag-aalangan ka pang tumakbo? Tumakbo ka na, di’ba? But in his case, it was very obvious. In this case, it’s not. it’s a little more malabo nga. Okay? Alright. Thank you.