PDP-Laban asks Duterte to pick Senate bets
The Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has asked President Duterte to pick from among 24 names—including his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Special Assistant Christopher “Bong” Go and actor Robin Padilla — who could be included in the party’s senatorial lineup in next year’s midterm elections.
Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, the PDP-Laban president, bared the party’s options in an Aug. 15 letter to President Duterte.
From outside the party, Pimentel said the other options were Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald dela Rosa, former Sen. Lito Lapid, former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan, Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque and Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano.
Pimentel said the President could also consider five reelectionist senators from the majority coalition “who are generally supportive of [Mr. Duterte’s] administration,” namely Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito, Grace Poe and Nancy Binay.
From within the PDP-Laban, the options are Pimentel himself, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, Makati Rep. Monsour del Rosario, singer Freddie Aguilar, broadcaster Jiggy Manicad, Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez and Quirino Rep. Dakila Cua.
In his letter to the President, Pimentel said he wanted to get the President’s opinion on the senatorial slate the party was forming.
President Duterte has the final say on who would be included in the slate, he said.
“We believe [that] because of the survey approval rating of the President, his endorsement can bring to victory the candidacy of his candidates. So it’s important that he supports our senatorial lineup,” Pimentel told reporters.
President Duterte earlier promised in a recent meeting that he would help PDP-Laban by campaigning for “honest and competent” candidates.
In choosing the names to be submitted to the President, Pimentel said the PDP-Laban considered party membership, service to the party, willingness to run, name recall and winnability.
It was also important that the candidates subscribe to the party’s platform, which includes federalism, he said.
Absent from the list was Assistant Communications Secretary Mocha Uson, who was earlier rumored to be eyeing a Senate post.
Asked why her name was not included, Pimentel replied that it was “self-explanatory.”
The senator earlier castigated Uson for befouling federalism through her online show that featured her cohost doing a raunchy dance supposedly to endorse the cause.
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