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Villar not running in 2016

Former Senate President Manny Villar will not join the political fray in 2016, his wife Sen. Cynthia Villar said yesterday.

Villar, the president of the Nacionalista Party (NP), was floated as a possible running mate of Vice President Jejomar C. Binay after Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, an NP stalwart, was designated recently as the vice president’s spokesman on political concerns.

Remulla clarified that Villar had nothing to do with his decision to join the Binay camp as spokesman.

Yesterday, however, the possibility of a Binay-Villar tandem in 2016 was shot down by Sen. Villar who said that her husband “is too busy with our (real estate) business.”

“He is happy with what he is doing right now,” she added.

Forbes recently named Villar as the No. 14 richest Filipino.

In the 2010 presidential elections, Villar ran but lost to now President Aquino.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, another key NP member and a staunch critic of Binay, said it is doubtful that the vice president would join the NP, which  coalesced with the Liberal Party (LP) of President Aquino and the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) of the President’s uncle former Ambassador Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. in the 2013 elections.

At the moment, the NP has three possible presidential candidates for 2016. They are Cayetano, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, and Sen. Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.

Currently, Cayetano and Trillanes are at the forefront of the Senate inquiry into the alleged overpriced Makati City Hall Building II. Binay has been accused of gaining from the project, an allegation dismissed by the vice president as politically motivated. Binay even described the Senate inquiry as a “badly scripted teleserye.”

Sen. Villar said the active participation of two key NP members – Cayetano and Trillanes – in the Senate inquiry into the alleged overpriced Makati building was part of politics.

“Probably because those who spoke against Vice President Binay are Nacionalista, he also got an NP member as spokesperson. That’s how politics is, she said, referring to Remulla appointment as spokesman.

The lady senator pointed out that Remulla had informed her husband that he would support Binay’s bid for the presidency in 2016.