Who are PDP-Laban’s possible Senate bets for 2019? Koko shows the 20 names
Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Thursday bared the 20 names of possible senatorial bets that the ruling PDP-Laban party is considering for 2019.
Pimentel, party president, clarified that he only compiled the list but it has not been cleared yet by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
The PDP-Laban’s line up, he said, includes himself and the five re-electionist senators belonging to the majority bloc — Senators Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, and Sonny Angara.
Also part of the ticket are Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino, and Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson.
Former senator and now Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, Reps. Ace Barbers, Alfredo Benetiz, Carlos Nograles, Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu, Geraldine Roman, and Rey Umali are also included in the list.
Also included are former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan, singer Freddie Aguilar, and television reporter Jiggy Manicad.
“Party member na kasi si Jiggy Manicad e…” the Senate leader said in a phone patch interview.
Pimentel said broadcast-journalist Erwin Tulfo was his “personal” choice to be part of the ticket but said the latter was not a member of the party and has not expressed yet his interest to run for the Senate.
“Pero kung magsalita siya (Tulfo) agad, I’m open to considering him,” he said.
Pimentel said former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and presidential daughter Sara Duterte-Carpio were not in the list because they have not manifested yet their interest to join next year’s senatorial race.
“Wala e. May manifestation ba siya (Arroyo) na interesado siya?” he asked.
Asked about the presidential daughter, the Senate leader said, “If she will also manifest, malaking chance like GMA (Arroyo’s initials). If GMA will manifest, former president ‘yan e.”
Pimentel said they would conduct surveys to find out the chances of those in the list and make a “progress” report to President Rodirgo Duterte as chairman of the party.
“We will defer to his (Duterte) final decision because my plan is to ask him to be the main campaigner of the senatorial ticket…” he said.
Pimentel said they would later advise those who would not be included in the slate and he hopes that party members who would not be chosen would not defect from the group. /je
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