Seven reelectionist senators, including one from the opposition Otso Diretso, and three other senatorial candidates, were endorsed Monday by the Nationalist People’s Coalition in a grand rally at the Rizal Plaza in front of the Calamba Municipal Hall in Calamba, Laguna.
Endorsed by the NPC through Senate President Vicente Sotto III were Senators Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Juan Edgardo Angara, JV Ejercito, Aquilino Pimentel III, and Paolo Benigno Aquino IV.
NPC stalwart Sotto also announced that they are backing the senatorial bid of former presidential aide Christopher Go and former Senators Pia Cayetano and Lito Lapid.
In a statement, Poe said, “If there’s one person who I know will never abandon me, it is Senate President Sotto.”
“He is like a father to me and I believe in his leadership,” she said.
Poe, chairman of the Senate committee on public services, said the NPC endorsement inspired her to work harder.
“We are humbled and grateful,” Poe said.
When Sotto joined the senatorial race in 2016, he ran under Galing at Pagbabago, Poe’s political party in her presidential run.
Binay said she was thankful for the NPC endorsement. She said it was “heartwarming” that Sotto would recognize her achievements in her six-year stint as a senator.
Aquino, Binay, Angara, and Go were at the rally, but Pimentel was represented by his wife Kathy while Villar was represented by her daughter Camille.
The endorsement of the reelectionist senators by the party founded by former Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco was done during the national launch of Luntian Party-list’s “10-million trees challenge”
Luntian Party-list first nominee Michael Ubac noted that their objective is not just to win a seat in Congress but to fight for the environment.
“We lose around 47,000 hectares of forest cover each year. And if we do not do anything to reverse ths trend, these losses wil have tragic consequences for our country’s biodiversity, water security and disaster prevention efforts,” he said.
The Palace on Monday said it was pleased that the religious group El Shaddai endorsed several Duterte-backed candidates gunning for Senate seats in the May 13 elections.
In a media briefing, Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo said the Palace respects the Catholic charismatic movement’s decision to endorse 10 of President Rodrigo Duterte’s preferred senatorial bets.
The Duterte-backed bets supported by El Shaddai are Villar, Pimentel, Angara, and Ejercito. It also endorsed former Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino, Go and former Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa and Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.
They also supported former Senators Ramon Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada.
The Palace said on Monday President Duterte’s style of attacking the opposition slate in his campaign rallies turned out to be “very effective.”
In a Palace press briefing, Panelo said the attacks were effective, given the strong showing in surveys of the administration-backed candidates.
“It appears, if you will consider the ratings of those, he [Duterte] has endorsed, it would seem that it is very effective. Why he is doing it? I think that’s his style. It’s part of the campaign,” Panelo told Palace reporters.
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