Senator Aquilino Pimentel III has submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte the names of 24 persons that the ruling PDP-Laban plans to include in its 12-person senatorial slate in May 2019, including the presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
“I am writing to you to get your opinion on the senatorial slate our political party is forming to be fielded in the coming May elections,” Pimentel told the President in a letter.
Duterte and Pimentel are the chairman and president, respectively, of the ruling PDP-Laban.
Pimentel said from within the party, the PDP-Laban is considering the following: Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go; Francis Tolentino, Representatives Karlo Alexei Nograles, Zajid Mangudadatu; Geraldine Roman, Monsour del Rosario, Alfredo Benitez, and Dakila Carlo Cua, singer Freddie Aguilar and former news anchor Jiggy Manicad.
From outside the party, Pimentel said the can recruit “friends” such presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte; Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald dela Rosa; actor Robin Padilla; former senator Lito Lapid; former secretary Rafael Alunan; columnist Ramon Tulfo; Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque; and Rep. Pia Cayetano.
Pimentel said he is also seeking reelection under PDP- Laban. He also mentioned five re-electionist senators who belong to the majority coalition: Senators Cynthia Villar, Juan Edgardo Angara, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Grace Poe, and Nancy Binay.
“I hope that the party leadership can sit down with you, as the party chairman, at the earliest possible time so we can talk about party matters and prepare for the fast-approaching May 2019 elections,” he said.
Pimentel said Mayor Duterte should run for senator next year to give Mindanao greater representation in the Senate.
“Her experience as mayor of one of the country’s highly successful cities eminently qualifies her to speak for Mindanao, for peace and order, for the environment, and for the socio-economic upliftment of the marginalized sectors,” Pimentel said.
Earlier, Senator Panfilo Lacson said that among the present crop of young leaders, Mayor Duterte was the only potential national leader.
“I am not endorsing her. I’m just saying among young leaders, I think you can agree with me that we are looking at Sara,” Lacson told reporters in a news forum.
“Make no mistake, if the next leader of our country would emerge from the young, fresh and new faces in national politics, my top choice right now is Sara Duterte,” he also said.
Lacson described the daughter of President Rodrigo Duterte as “strong-willed, stern, vibrant, and progressive-minded,” and said she has obviously good leadership qualities.
The young Duterte had been tagged as the mastermind behind the House coup that replaced Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez with former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as Speaker.
She has neither confirmed nor denied such talk.
Arroyo said Thursday Mayor Duterte was poised for national politics, noting that children of presidents like her have played a “prominent role in national political life.”
“I am one example. Noynoy Aquino is another example. The children of President Estrada are very active in national political life. Mar Roxas is also a descendant of a president,” Arroyo told ABS-CBN News.
“Judging by history, really, I think that Mayor Sara Duterte will become an important national figure,” she said.
President Duterte on Wednesday asked the PDP-Laban for its continued support to address the pressing issues of the day.
Duterte, chairman of the PDP-Laban, made his appeal during the first anniversary of PDP-Laban Cares at the GSIS Building in Pasay City on Wednesday night.
“As we [undergo] reforms in this administration, our unity is now more important than ever. I, therefore, ask the continued support of PDP-Laban and its partners in creating practical solutions to address the root cause of our nation’s problems,” he said.
The President challenged his fellow PDP-Laban members to remain committed to the party’s vision of liberating the Filipino people from the clutches of poverty, conflict, crime, illegal drugs, and corruption “through the promotion of justice, equality, and good governance.”
The President had earlier said that he would resign as president if the likes of former senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr. or Senator Francis Escudero would succeed him.
But Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV said nobody would believe the President because he had already threatened to resign several times.
Instead of talking about quitting and insulting Vice President Leni Robredo, the President should act on the country’s most serious problems, Aquino said, pointing to the increase in the prices of goods and services and the illegal entry of drugs. With PNA
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