1 slot remains for Senate slate of LP-led coalition
The senatorial slate of the Liberal Party-led administration coalition is almost complete with Muntinlupa Representative Rodolfo Biazon included in the 12-member ticket.
LP stalwart and Caloocan Representative Edgar Erice confirmed in a text message that Biazon has been added to the LP’s “Daang Matuwid coalition,” which is set to be unveiled Monday next week.
Biazon replaced Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, who had opted to back out from the senatorial race to seek reelection.
The ruling party has already confirmed that LP members Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senators Ralph Recto and Teofisto Guingona III, and former food security adviser Francis Pangilinan have been assured slots in the coalition slate.
An Inquirer report quoting an LP source earlier said slots have been reserved for Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) chief Joel Villanueva and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Francis Tolentino. De Lima, Villanueva and Tolentino have reportedly tendered their resignation.
Tolentino stepped down from his post and had asked the LP to drop him from the slate over the controversial performance of sexy dancers in Laguna.
The report also said those vying for the remaining slots were former Senator and rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson, former Akbayan Representative Risa Hontiveros, and Tourism Infrastructure Economic Zone Authority General Manager Mark Lapid.
Las Piñas Representative Mark Villar of the Nacionalista Party, who had earlier expressed his intention to run for Senate, said he decided to continue what he started in the House of Representatives. He said he also wants to spend more time with his family.
On Friday morning, De Lima was sworn in as official member of the LP in preparation for her senatorial bid.
LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas said “it’s possible” for Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao to join the coalition ticket as he had spoken with the boxing champion “as recent as two nights ago.”
Meeting with Aquino
After sealing a local alliance with NP in vote-rich Laguna on Thursday, Roxas said President Aquino called a meeting to decide on the party’s Senate slate.
The LP then announced the postponement of the Daang Matuwid coalition launch on Friday and instead scheduled it on October 12.
The party cited Tolentino’s withdrawal from LP and Bautista seeking more time to decide as reasons for the postponement.
“Kahapon, matapos ‘yung pagsanib ng pwersa ng Nacionalista at pwersa Liberal sa lalawigan ng Laguna ay nagpatawag ng meeting ang Pangulo at ako naman ay pumunta para mapag-usapan ‘yung papalit dito kay Chairman Francis,” Roxas told reporters at the Balay Headquarters in Quezon City on Friday.
Roxas and his running mate Camarines Sur Representative Leni Robredo attended the oath-taking of over a hundred recruits of LP from Bataan, La Union and Bulacan, including Bulacan Governor Wilhelmino Alvarado and La Union Representative Victor Ortega
National Unity Party president and Bataan Governor Albert Garcia vowed to support Roxas and Robredo in the national elections next year. KS
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