Binay visits LP-dominated Batangas

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Cold shoulder? In this photo, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Batangas Gov. Vilma Santos-Recto are seen seated away from each other in the national shrine declaration of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Saint Pedro Pio.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – Vice President Jejomar Binay on Monday (September 14) attended the declaration of the Archdiocesan Shrine of Saint Pedro Pio as a National Shrine.

The shrine is located in Batangas, a known province where Liberal Party (LP) members dominate the political scene.

Aside from Binay, the Eucharistic celebration was also attended by Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto.

Santos-Recto is also an LP member and is being considered as Mar Roxas’ potential running mate should Sen. Grace Poe turn down the party's offer.

No small talks

Although they are from rival parties, Binay and Santos greeted each other after the holy mass – but they hardly talked.

“Okay naman. Wala namang problema,” Santos said.

The vice president told the media, there was no talk about politics between him and the governor.

Binay also said it was hard for him to talk to Santos since they were few seats away from each other during the Eucharistic celebration.

“Wala wala. Andun sila sa tapat ko. Magkasama kami sa linya pero malayo ang upo niya nandun si Vice Gov. Leviste at isang board member,” said Binay.

Santos maintained though that her decision is final – she will not run for the vice presidency.

The governor told the media that she is aware of her limitations and that she wants to prioritize her family.

“I know kung saan [ang] aking kakayahan... Maraming salamat sa tiwala,” Santos said in an interview.

She admitted, however, that she is considering a congressional bid.

“I might consider Congress. Local pa rin. Sa Batangas pa rin,” said Santos.

Binay said he also considered Santos to be his running mate. But he immediately removed her name from the list of his choices when Santos announced that she is not interested to run for higher office.

“Noon noon. Mga ilang buwan pa ang nakakaraan pero nung sinabi ni Gov. Vilma na hindi siya interesado so natapos na doon,” Binay told the reporters.

Binay adopts Budget Sec. Butch Abad’s brother in UNA

After his Batangas visit, Binay would swear in United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) members from Batangas and Batanes in his office at the Coconut Palace.

The UNA members would be led by Batanes Governor Vicente Gato and Engr. Nicanor Abad, brother of Budget Secretary Butch Abad.

While the vice president has been a staunch critic of the budget secretary, Binay said he accepted the secretary's brother in his party since it was Engr. Abad who expressed his willingness to join UNA.