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‘Anak’ singer joins overflow list of senatorial bets

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FOLK singer Freddie Aguilar—born Ferdinand Pascual Aguilar—might run for senator under the ruling PDP-Laban in the coming mid-term elections in May 2019.

The party’s president, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III Thursday confirmed that Aguilar, who goes by the name Abdul Farid after he converted to Islam in 2013 to marry his then 16-year-old girlfriend, was being considered as among the senatorial candidates of their party.

While the party has yet to finalize the names of their senatorial candidates, Pimentel said Aguilar, born in Ilagan, Isabela, might be among their senatorial bets being a party member.

Due to the “overflow” of their possible candidates for senators, he said the party would likely finalize or even come out with the official list by August or September.

“Go over the qualifications for senator. He (Aguilar) has all of them,” said Pimentel, a re-electionist.

“And for sure he has ideas on how legislation can solve some of our problems,” he said.

In related developments:

–The Commission on Elections has disqualified 105 individuals from running for public office for their failure to submit statements of campaign expenses and contributions in the previous elections.

The list was posted by the Comelec Campaign Finance Office in its official website Friday last week. 

The publication of the list will be used by the Comelec to remind aspirants and reelectionists in the May 14 Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan polls to submit their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures on or before June 13, 2018.

Under the Omnibus Election Code, every candidate and treasurer of the political party shall submit  full, true, and itemized SOCEs after an electoral exercise.

After the second failure of a candidate to file his/her SOCE, the offender shall be subject to perpetual disqualification to hold public office. 

The poll body will disqualify candidates committing over spending in connection with the village and youth council polls next month.

Win or lose, all candidates must file their SOCE, according to Comelec spokesperson James Arthur Jimenez.

–The Legal Network for Truthful Elections (Lente) on Thursday urged the youth, especially the so-called millennials, to participate and run for positions in the Sangguniang Kabataan polls next month.

“We are calling on the youth to run in the upcoming SK elections to fill these positions. It is time for the youth to take a more active role in the barangay as SK leaders,” said Lente executive director Ona Caritos 

The group made the appeal after observing there are merely 18,298 who have filed certificates of candidacy for the SK chairman position while 61,167 for SK councilor as of April 17.

Today (April 20) will be the last day of the seven-day period of filing of COC.

There are 42,036 posts for SK chairman and 294,252 posts for SK councilor that are up for grabs come Election Day on May 14.

“These figures do not bode well in the context of barangay governance, most especially on matters affecting the youth in the barangay,” said Caritos.

Lente is a group of lawyers and paralegals working for truthful elections in the country.

At present, Pimentel said there were over 20 candidates being considered in their party. These include his re-electionist colleagues in the Senate whom he did not identify.

He said the PDP-Laban’s line up included himself and the five re-electionist senators belonging to the majority bloc — Senators Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, and Sonny Angara.

Aguilar had confirmed he would run for senator under PDP-Laban.

As this developed, Pimentel also admitted he chose  Sen. JV Ejercito over  former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada to be part of the lineup  because of his commitment to push  for the incumbent’s inclusion in the PDP-Laban senatorial slate.

Ejercito thanked  Pimentel for his “trust and confidence” but clarified  that   there was no condition imposed that only one member of the family could  be  included in the ticket.

“I am thankful to SP Koko for that trust and confidence, but it was really his decision, there is no condition imposed that there should only be one member of the family,”   he said.

“I didn’t ask for this. Perhaps SP Koko knows the performance of his colleagues in the Senate, that is probably his basis for giving priority to re-electionists,” he further said.

Estrada earlier expressed his desire to be part of the PDP-Laban senatorial ticket. 

Should he not be chosen by the party, Estrada said he would just run as an independent candidate.

“As for me, I will run under the administration ticket,” he said in an interview last week.

Also included in the ticket are Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino, Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, former senator and now Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, Reps. Ace Barbers, Alfredo Benetiz, Carlos Nograles, Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu, Geraldine Roman, and Rey Umali, former Interior Secretary Rafael Alunan, singer Freddie Aguilar, and television reporter Jiggy Manicad.


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