Rival political parties have floated a few names who could possibly comprise their senatorial lineup for the mid-term polls next year.
A Pulse Asia survey in July named projected candidates who would have made it to Magic 12 senatorial openings if the poll was held during the survey period. Many of the names on the initial lists were allied with the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Laban or the opposing Liberal Party.
The opposition: Many names, poor survey performance
Senator Francis Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party, listed 18 names. Many of them served the Aquino administration. None of the names, however, were included in the Top 12 of the last Pulse Asia survey.
The sole reelectionist in the opposition slate is Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV. Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano, meanwhile, is a Congress incumbent formerly ruling party is hoping would seek a place at the Upper House.
Ousted chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, who was removed from her post by her colleagues in a controversial decision in May, may also take her chances in the senatorial race.
Bangsamoro Transition Committee appointee Samira Gutoc quit her job during the drafting of the Bangsamoro Basic Law last May 2017 over President Rodrigo Duterte’s rape jokes and declaration of martial law in Mindanao.
Meanwhile, Romulo Macalintal, the election lawyer of Vice President Leni Robredo, is also among the names.
Personalities who were part of the administration of former president Benigno Aquino III were also included. They are:
- Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay
- Former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas
- Former Quezon Representative Erin Tañada III
- Former presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda
- Former Social Welfare Secretary Corazon “Dinky” Soliman
- Former Akbayan Representative Ibarra “Barry” Gutierrez
There are also veteran officials who have worked during former President Corazon Aquino’s time—human rights lawyer Jose Manuel Diokno and former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr.
Personalities who were vocal against Duterte on social media have also earned a nod for the opposition bloc, and these are
- actor Dingdong Dantes
- social commentator and historian Manuel Quezon III
- singer Leah Navarro
- actor Agot Isidro
- actor Jim Paredes
The ruling party: Allied incumbents
Duterte’s political party, PDP-Laban, have yet to complete its own lineup amid the shakeup among its members.
In August, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, president of PDP-Laban, presented its 24-member slate. Among them were party stalwarts, friends and reelectionists.
Names who were part of PDP-Laban’s senatorial roll who were also included in the Magic 12 of the Pulse Asia survey are:
- Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III
- Sen. Grace Poe
- Sen. Cynthia Villar
- Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara
- Sen. Nancy Binay
- Sen. JV Ejercito
- Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano
- Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio
- Police chief-turned-Bureau of Corrections Director Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa
- Actor and former senator Lito Lapid
Other notable potential candidates are Special Assistant to the President Bong Go who had repeatedly denied he will run despite his countless advertisements and public event appearances and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque who was once vocal about his senatorial ambitions.
Excluded from the latest lineup but may also try to retake their seat were former senators Jinggoy Estrada and Sergio Osmena III. — Artwork by Uela Altar-Badayos