Dingdong Dantes, Isko Moreno on LP list of possible senatorial bets
MANILA, Philippines–Dingdong Dantes, Herbert “Bistek” Bautista, “Isko Moreno,” Leila de Lima, Francis Tolentino and Leni Robredo.
They are among the 19 names short-listed for the administration coalition’s senatorial slate for the 2016 elections, according to Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice, a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP).
Only 12 seats in the 24-member Senate are at stake in May next year.
Actor Dantes is the husband of actress Marian Rivera and a commissioner-at-large of the National Youth Commission. Bautista is mayor of Quezon City while Isko Moreno is Manila Vice Mayor Francisco Domagoso. De Lima is the justice secretary and Robredo is Camarines Sur representative and widow of the former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
The LP list includes reelectionists and former senators and members of the House of Representatives.
Others being considered for the administration senatorial ticket, Erice said, are reelectionists Senate President Franklin Drilon and Senators Ralph Recto, Teofisto Guingona III and Sergio Osmeña III; and former senators Panfilo Lacson and Francis Pangilinan.
Also on the list are Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla; Joel Villanueva, head of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority; Francis Tolentino, chair of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority; Philippine Health Insurance Corp. Director Risa Hontiveros; Representatives Roman Romulo of Pasig City (who is on his third and last term), Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro (also on his last term), Lino Cayetano of Taguig and Mark Villar of Las Piñas.
Erice said the lineup of the LP coalition would be finalized after the announcement of its candidates for president and vice president in June and after negotiations with coalition partners—the Nationalist People’s Coalition, Nacionalista Party, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, National Unity Party and Akbayan Citizens Action Party.
“We hope to announce our choice for our presidential candidate before the end of June. We hope to start formal talks with our allies from July to September. It will all start with our choice for president,” Erice said in a phone interview.
Erice said that at present, the LP was considering only Interior Secretary Mar Roxas as its presidential candidate.
Sen. Grace Poe was being considered for Roxas’ running mate although no formal talks had been made with the daughter of the late actor-director Fernando Poe Jr., he said.
In an interview on dzIQ, Erice confirmed reports that Energy Secretary Petilla had already submitted his resignation to President Aquino.
The LP lawmaker said Aquino had accepted Petilla’s resignation but no replacement had yet been found.
Filing of candidacy
Erice said he expected Roxas and De Lima to announce their resignations in June. Candidates for senator must file their certificates of candidacy in October.
Lacson is on the list because he has not yet decided on making a run for president in 2016, according to Erice.
The LP included Cayetano, a brother of Senators Alan Peter and Pia Cayetano, and Villar, a son of Sen. Cynthia Villar and former Senate President Manny Villar, because it had to reserve seats for its coalition partners.
Erice said that although Isko Moreno belonged to the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino party of Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, the former movie actor had sent word to LP officials that he wanted to join the administration’s senatorial ticket.
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