Drilon: PNoy’s ‘chosen one’ known days after SONA

Friday, July 24th, 2015. Filed under: Philippine News
President Benigno S. Aquino III leads the singing of the Philippine National Anthem during the ceremonial signing of Republic Act No. 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act and the amendments to the Cabotage Law at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Tuesday (July 21). (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III leads the singing of the Philippine National Anthem during the ceremonial signing of Republic Act No. 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act and the amendments to the Cabotage Law at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Tuesday (July 21). (MNS photo)

MANILA  (Mabuhay) — President Benigno Aquino III will name his preferred successor days after delivering his last State of the Nation Address, Senate President Franklin Drilon said.

In a television interview, Drilon, the ruling Liberal Party’s vice chairman, said the announcement may came between July 29 to 31, stressing that they want the public to first focus on Aquino’s swan song when he delivers his SONA on July 27.

Aquino is national chairman of the administration party.

This was the same remark issued by Drilon early last month when asked when the President would name his preferred successor.

In the television interview, Drilon said he believes the President will endorse Interior Secretary Mar Roxas.

Roxas originally wanted to seek the presidency in 2010 but gave way to then-Sen. Aquino. Roxas lost to Vice President Jejomar Binay but has a pending electoral protest before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal.

President Benigno S. Aquino III signs into law Republic Act No. 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act and the amendments to the Cabotage Law at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Tuesday (July 21). Witnessing the ceremony are (seated, from left) Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., Senator Vicente Sotto III, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Senator Cynthia Villar, Senate President Franklin Drilon, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Mandaluyong City Lone District Representative and Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II, Quirino Lone District Representative and House Committee on Economic Affairs senior vice chairperson Dakila Carlo Cua, Las Piñas Lone District Representative and House Committee on Trade and Industry chairperson Mark Villar, and Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan. (MNS photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III signs into law Republic Act No. 10667 or the Philippine Competition Act and the amendments to the Cabotage Law at the Rizal Hall of the Malacañan Palace on Tuesday (July 21). Witnessing the ceremony are (seated, from left) Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr., Senator Vicente Sotto III, Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Senator Cynthia Villar, Senate President Franklin Drilon, House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr., Mandaluyong City Lone District Representative and Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II, Quirino Lone District Representative and House Committee on Economic Affairs senior vice chairperson Dakila Carlo Cua, Las Piñas Lone District Representative and House Committee on Trade and Industry chairperson Mark Villar, and Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan. (MNS photo)

Drilon also said he expects Roxas to step down from the Cabinet if the latter will be announced as the administration bet in the 2016 polls.

“I would expect him to already leave his post after that… [When] he becomes a candidate, it’s untenable for him to continue holding the post as secretary of Interior and Local Government,” he said.

Drilon earlier maintained that the administration’s standard-bearer should come from within the party, amid the possibility of a team-up with independent Sen. Grace Poe.

Last week, the President met with Roxas, Poe, and Sen. Francis Escudero over dinner in efforts to build a united administration thrust for 2016. No consensus was reached.

According to Poe, they had agreed to listen to the voice of the people to ensure that efforts towards good governance will not go to waste. (MNS)

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