Petilla confident of Roxas backing; ‘LP will choose those who are working’
Former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla may be lagging behind in preference surveys for senatorial candidates, but he is sure Liberal Party (LP) will include him in the administration coalition’s Senate ticket in 2016.
“I’m quite sure that the (LP) will choose not only who’s popular, but those who are really working,” Petilla said in an interview after LP’s meeting on Wednesday.
Although Petilla has not been nominated yet in the senatorial lineup of the administration party, he is “confident” he will be chosen by LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas.
“There were senators before, but I won’t name them, who were No. 29 in rankings but they ended up No. 1,” said Petilla.
“I’m confident that we will be included in the lineup but let’s wait until the list is released,” he added.
Only former presidential adviser on food security and agricultural modernization Francis Pangilinan and three incumbent senators—Franklin Drilon, Ralph Recto and TG Guingona III—have so far secured slots in LP’s senatorial ticket.
The nomination was made by party members during the Wednesday meeting of LP’s national directorate and executive council at their headquarters in Quezon City.
Petilla said Roxas had told him to prepare for a possible Senate run.
“We talked about it in passing. Ang sabi niya, maghanda na ako. Sabi ko, ‘saan?’ Sabi niya, ‘alam mo na,‘” he said.
In choosing senatorial candidates, Petilla said Roxas would pick without relying on the ratings of candidates the in the surveys.
“Kung survey naman ang paguusapan, tinanong ko rin si Secretary Mar. (He said) kung based lang sa survey ang kukunin nating candidate, eh tanggalin mo na lahat ng nasa baba, kunin mo na ang top 12 but that’s not how you choose. You choose the right candidates. So sabi niya, saktong tao ang pipiliin natin at sisiguraduhin natin na mailagay sa pwesto,” he said.
Petilla said many were applying to be endorsed by the administration coalition’s Senate ticket. It was earlier announced that 19 names had been short-listed.
However, only 12 will be chosen. Eight of the 12 candidates will be handpicked by Roxas, being the party’s presidential bet.
Among those in the short list are Petilla, National Youth Commission’s Jose Sixto “Dingdong” Dantes III, Quezon City Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista, Manila Vice Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino, Sen. Sergio Osmeña III, former Senators Panfilo Lacson, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority head Joel Villanueva, 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 City, and Mark Villar of Las Piñas City.
Roxas earlier said non-LP members would also be considered in the lineup.
He said there would be talks with the coalition partners, which include Nationalist People’s Coalition, Nacionalista Party, Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, National Unity Party, and Akbayan Citizens Action Party.
The LP will announce its final slate for the national elections on Monday, Oct. 5. Julliane Love de Jesus/RC