Only PDP-Laban, NP members can be on 2019 Senate slate – Speaker

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Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez PHIL. STAR FILE.

MANILA, Philippines — Only members of the PDP-Laban and Nacionalista Party will be accepted in the administration’s senatorial slate in the 2019 midterm elections, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Wednesday, October 11.

Alvarez, who is PDP-Laban secretary general, said they can fill up the 12 slots because there are more than enough aspirants.

Sobra sobra, binilang ko na (There are more than enough, I counted),” he said, adding that the party is also assessing the chances of candidates whom they would field.

He stressed that the only coalition being considered is with the NP, which is led by former Senate president Manny Villar and to which Duterte’s erstwhile running mate, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, also belongs.

Matagal na natin kasama ‘yan (We have been together for a long time),” he said of the NP.

Over the weekend, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, who is up for reelection, named five possible administration senatorial bets:

Negros Occidental third district Representative Albee Benitez, former provincial chair of the Liberal Party who left the former ruling party in December 2015 and joined PDP-Laban soon after the May 2016 elections.

Bataan first district Representative Geraldine Roman, another LP member who defected after the May 2016 polls

Davao City first district Representative Karlo Nograles, son of former Speaker Prospero Nograles and formerly of the National Unity Party, who joined PDP-Laban in September this year.

President Rodrigo Duterte’s political adviser Francis Tolentino, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and also a former LP member

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, yet another LP member who joined PDP-Laban in May 2017

Fariñas has said he is not interested to run for senator, while Nograles has said it is too early to discuss the elections.

 

Alvarez, who will also seek another three-year term as congressman, is being eyed as the PDP-Laban national campaign manager.