Ka Freddie, 19 others on ‘evolving list’ of PDP-Laban senatorial bets
Here’s one more proof that in the Philippines at least, politics and show business have become interchangeable: popular folk singer Freddie Aguilar is on the “evolving list” of possible senatorial candidates of the ruling PDP-Laban.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III on Thursday named the 20 people being considered by the party for the 2019 midterm senatorial elections, including Ka Freddie, whose hit song “Anak” has become some sort of anthem for pained parents everywhere, and GMA-7 television reporter Jiggy Manicad, who recently joined the party.
“This is an evolving list,” said Pimentel, the PDP-Laban president who is seeking reelection. The list also includes names previously announced by the PDP-Laban secretary general, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Reelectionist Senators Grace Poe, JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara, Cynthia Villar and Nancy Binay, as well as Representatives Ace Barbers, Albee Benitez, Karlo Nograles, Zajid Mangudadatu, Geraldine Roman, Rey Umali, and Pia Cayetano made it to the list.
So did President Duterte’s special assistant, Christopher “Bong” Go, spokesperson Harry Roque and political adviser Francis Tolentino, Palace communications assistant Mocha Uson, and former Interior Secretary Raffy Alunan.
Conspicuously missing was former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who earlier said that someone from PDP-Laban had talked to him about joining the administration slate. Pimentel denied this.
The Senate President said Estrada was not included because his half-brother, Ejercito, was already on the list and that he had already committed to have Ejercito on the party’s senatorial ticket.
“It was [Pimentel’s] decision,” Ejercito said, adding that there was “no condition imposed that there should only be one member of the family” on the slate.
He earlier appealed to Pimentel to consider the reelectionist senators in the majority bloc, as they supported President Duterte’s legislative agenda.
Pimentel said the party would finalize the 12-member senatorial slate by August or September, or before candidates in the midterm polls next year filed their certificates of candidacy in October.
To trim the list to 12 candidates, a survey will be conducted among the public and party members, he said.
He said, however, that the party would “defer to [President Duterte’s] final decision.”
The President, he said, would be the “main campaigner” of the candidates.
To join the Magic 12, Pimentel said the aspirants needed to serve the party and help party initiatives.
“Our No. 1 advocacy is federalism. So they should be active in the federalism movement to educate the people, organize fora, or use their talents,” he said. — CHRISTINE O. AVENDAÑO
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