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Aquino denies sisters endorsed Binay


President Benigno Aquino III has denied that his sisters endorsed the candidacy of Vice President Jejomar Binay for the presidency in 2016 elections.

In his exclusive interview with TV5, President Aquino said he texted his sisters, Kris Aquino and Ballsy Aquino-Cruz, to seek clarification on what they told the media regarding Binay’s political plan.

“I texted my elder sister and Kris and I asked them: ‘what did you actually tell [in the interview]?’ And then, I think, they both said: ‘[The] media forced us to say something,” Aquino said in Filipino.

&ldquo The gist of what they said was: ‘If [Binay] would continue what our brother had done, ‘thank you’, or ‘it would be good’ — which is not exactly the same as ‘you are the one who will continue,’ he added.

The President said his sisters were asked to react on the statement that the reforms should be continued and not exactly on the person who should succeed him.

Just last week, actress and TV host Kris, in her late night talk show “Aquino and Abunda Tonight” was quoted saying: “My sisters and I have been talking about it (LP adopting Binay), and we say that if this can bring about unity as … we’re not enemies… and if he continues what Noy has started, why not?”

Kris was reacting to Binay’s statement during a commemorative exhibit for the Aquino’s matriarch – the late former President Corazon Aquino – at a mall in Makati City that the ruling Liberal Party (LP) was planning to adopt him as its standard bearer.

In a separate television interview, the eldest in the Aquino sisters Ballsy, also reacted on Binay’s pronouncement saying: “You know, he never said anything bad about my family and other parties. That’s why I am happy that he felt that way. If he wants to continue what Noy has started, the better.”

Ballsy was also present during Cory’s commemorative exhibit as she led the ribbon cutting ceremony alongside sister Pinky Aquino-Abellada.

Binay thanked Aquino’s two sisters for their thoughts on his political plan saying that he was “humbled” by their trust and support.

President Aquino has been keeping his cards close to his chest on who will be his anointed one.

Also in his TV5 interview, Aquino said he prefers a successor who is a friend and not a foe.

“Perhaps, the one that I would ask to replace me would be a friend of mine, not my enemy,” he said.

However, it was in the same interview when he softened his stand on amending the Constitution that will make it possible for him to extend his term beyond 2016.

Some viewed Aquino’s pronouncement as a trial balloon since LP’s presumptive standard bearer, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas II, has remained weak in the electoral survey.

Ironically, Roxas was the first one who raised the idea of a possible second term for Aquino, which was supported by some of their allies in the LP.

In 2010 elections, Roxas gave way to Aquino and ran as the latter’s vice presidential running mate.

Roxas lost to Binay who allegedly got the support of some of Aquino’s family members and relatives.

Binay is a known staunch ally of Aquino’s mother Cory. He is also a member of the Cabinet as housing czar and adviser for overseas Filipino workers.  (Imh)

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