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Duterte introduces ‘senatoriable’ Bello in Pampanga event

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III. Presidential Photo

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga—Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III for senator in 2019?

President Rodrigo Duterte floated this idea on Thursday as he welcomed dozens of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) at the Clark International Airport here.

“Madali namang kausapin si Senator Bello—ay, Secretary Bello—secretary, secretary, Cabinet member siya ngayon. Tatakbo ka ba?” Duterte said in jest as he addressed the returning overseas Filipino workers.

(Senator Bello—I mean secretary, secretary Bello, he is a Cabinet member—is easy to talk to. Are you running?)

When asked by the press in a chance interview after the event, Bello immediately dismissed the idea, saying it was just a joke by the President.

He said he would definitely not run because he is “already old.”

Aside from serving as Labor secretary, Bello also serves as the chief negotiator of the government peace panel, which is in charge of holding peace talks with the National Democratic Front. /jpv

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