LP defends ‘two unknowns’ in senatorial slate
THE inclusion of “two unknowns” in the senatorial lineup was not just to fill up the ticket of the Liberal Party-led administration coalition, the LP’s campaign spokesperson maintained on Monday.
Representative Cresente Paez and Assistant Secretary Nariman Ambolodto were chosen by LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas because the party wanted the cooperative and Muslim sectors represented in the Senate, said spokesperson and Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo.
“They have long been considered because we also want broad-based candidates. They represent a large portion of the population,” said Quimbo.
Paez is three-time representative of the Cooperative National Confederation of Cooperatives (Coop-Natcco) party while Ambolodto is the Department of the Interior and Local Government Assistant Secretary for Muslim Affairs and special concerns.
He also described Ambolodto as “highly educated and a very accomplished DILG leader” and Paez as “one of the best House representatives.”
But both Paez and Ambolodto said it was only last week when Roxas asked them to run for senator under LP.
Although there was no pressure for her to accept the offer, Ambolodto said she had mixed emotions when she was asked by Roxas to run for higher office.
“Syempre una tinatanong ko, ‘Kaya ko ba to? Masyado nang mataas.’ Pero katulad nung sinasabi ko, gagawin natin lahat,” she said.
Asked what convinced her to throw her hat into the election ring, Ambolodto said: “Peace and order in Mindanao. We need to have a representative in the next administration to continue peace negotiations.”
Reacting to some comments saying they were only enlisted to just complete the slate, Paez said: “In fact, ang reaksyon ko noong binigay nila ito sa akin, sabi ko sa sarili ko mission impossible ito kasi wala naman akong pangalan eh, ano naman ako eh, di naman ako katulad sa iba na big names, di ba?”
Asked when he was offered the senatorial slot by Roxas, he said: “Ito lang na linggo na ito,” adding that it took him some time to decide.
“Para sa akin mabigat ito kasi hindi naman ako talaga sanay dito,” he said.
But Paez said what would bring him to the Senate is growing sector of cooperative movements which, according to the lawmaker, has 13 million members. Julliane Love de Jesus