Belmonte: It’s up to Tolentino to decide on Senate bid
METROPOLITAN Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Francis Tolentino should decide on his own whether to pursue his senatorial bid under the Liberal Party (LP) in the wake of the “Playgirls” scandal at a party-sanctioned event in Laguna province, Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said Monday.
“He (Tolentino) should not wait for the party to make a decision on his fate. He must decide on his own and spare the party from the scandal,” Belmonte said in an interview at Club Filipino.
The LP has moved to Oct. 9 the announcement of its final Senate line-up.
Belmonte said the announcement was delayed because LP leaders were having a difficult time finalizing its Senate slate with at least 16 names being considered for only 12 seats.
Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo said that as of Monday, at least 8 slots have been reserved for reelectionist Senate President Franklin Drilon and Senators Ralph Recto and Teofisto Guingona III; and former Sen. Francis Pangilinan; Cabinet Secretaries Leila de Lima, Joel Villanueva, Tolentino and former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla.
But both Villanueva and Tolentino were noticeably absent at Rep. Leni Robredo’s announcement to run as vice president in the 2016 polls at Club Filipino Monday.
Castelo said that among those vying for the remaining slots were Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno.
Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez confirmed that former Akbayan Rep. Risa Hontiveros had been assured of a slot on the LP Senate slate. This will be Hontiveros’ third attempt to win a Senate seat after two straight defeats in 2010 and 2013.
De Lima told a TV interview she would file her resignation on Oct. 12.
For his part, Petilla said he was encouraged by Robredo’s decision to accept the LP nomination because they were both in the same situation.
“I am much encouraged because we are [in] the same boat. Both of us have low public awareness, we come from the same province, and both of us want to represent the whole country. We believe that national positions should not only be for those in Metro Manila,” said Petilla.