Kiko to sub for Mar?

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — SENATOR Francis Pangilinan is ready to stand in for Senator Mar Roxas if Roxas turns down the offer of Liberal Party presidential bet Noynoy Aquino to be his running mate.

This possibility surfaced yesterday amid talk that Roxas, Aquino’s only choice for vice president, prefers to run for reelection if he can’t aspire to the presidency.

“That would be one option. If Mar does not accept the offer, then we can push for our candidacy,” Pangilinan told a breakfast forum at the Senate yesterday.

The name of former Senate President Franklin Drilon, Liberal Party chairman, is also being floated as a prospective vice presidential bet, but Drilon told the same forum that he was not contemplating on running for a post other than senator.

Pangilinan said he was being tapped to be Aquino’s campaign spokesman but nothing was final.

“There may be other developments. There are no conditions being imposed,” he said.

“But I am willing to support and take on any role in the campaign in whatever capacity.”

Earlier, Pangilinan said he was willing to sacrifice his vice presidential bid to unify the Liberal Party behind Aquino.

Drilon has praised him for assuring everyone that he would respect Aquino’s choice of running mate and support the party’s presidential team all the way.

“To me that is an act of statesmanship,” Drilon said.

“That is an act of showing that, indeed, Senator Kiko [Pangilinan] is a real party man who would abide by the traditions of the party where the presidential candidate is give a certain degree of leeway.”

Drilon said the party had not given Roxas a deadline to make up his mind, but Roxas should decide as soon as possible because they didn’t have much time.