Stressing there was nothing wrong with political dynasties, movie and TV personality Kris Aquino, the youngest sister of President Benigno Aquino III, has announced plans to run for public office in 2016.
“I’d like to continue the service that my parents started and that which PNoy continues to do,” she said, referring to her brother. “So why not? Dynasties are good if the parents are good and the children have the capability to help.”
The nonprofit online news portal Vera Files also quoted her on May 4 as saying: “For us, for me, Aquino is a name that we can really be proud of.”
Her mother, the late Corzaon Aquino, was installed as the country’s president in 1986 following a bloodless People’s Revolution that topped the dictator Ferdinand Marcos while her father was the late senator Benigno Aquino, Jr, Marcos’s political nemesis.
Aquino’s statements changed in one day, however, as she switched cities while campaigning for some senatorial bets running under the
ruling administration’s Liberal Party for this year’s elections, as on what position she was interested to run for and in which city or town.
Vera Files said in a report datelined Tacloban City, in central Philippines, that Aquino would run for mayor in a Metro Manila City while Asian News Network (ANN), reporting from Cebu City, also in central Philippines, said she would run for governor in her home province of Tarlac.
But one thing sure about it all is that she prefers to run for a local executive position rather than a legislative function.
In the Philippines, where most voters prefer to cast their votes based on a person’s popularity and name recall, celebrities and members of political and moneyed clans always have an edge over the other candidates.
For her 2016 plan Aquino ruled out Makati City, where she has lived for years, and Quezon City, where she said her friends have been well entrenched, according to Vera Files. She was referring to the Binays, good friends of the Aquinos’, in Makati, and the former actor Herbert Bautista, mayor of Quezon City who is seeking reelection in next week’s polls.
“So I’ll just look for other cities in Metro Manila, where the mayor is serving his last term in office,” Aquino said. “That’s where I’ll buy a house.”
But ANN said she changed her mind and said she would probably run for governor of Tarlac, a province in northern Philippines where the Cojuangcos, one of the country’s richest and most powerful clans to which her late mother belonged, has a vast plantation of sugarcane.
“The incumbent [Tarlac] governor Vic Yap is now running for his last term,” she said, referring to the elections on May 13. “He said he would
give it to me [to run for].”
A graduate of the elite Ateneo de Manila University, Aquino said she would take up a post-graduate course that has something to do with public management or administration, in preparation for the 2016 elections.
“I don’t want to be elected based on who my brother is, who my parents are, or what I achieved in showbiz,” she stressed. “The reason that you’ll elect me into office is that I was able to impress you with my credentials.”