President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants the public to decide on PDP-Laban party’s senatorial line for the 2019 elections.
On November 17, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez announced a partial list of his party’s senatorial candidates, which include Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, former MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino, Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles, and Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Benitez.
However, PDP-Laban President and Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III clarified that the party has not yet decided on the final senatorial line bets.
When asked on November 18 whether he has talked to Alvarez over the senatorial bets he announced, Duterte remarked: “Let the people decide. It’s not a one-man story or critique. Let the people decide. If they like it that way, then that’s it. It will be honored by all, including the military and the police.”
He added: “If that’s the choice of the Filipino, you might not like her; her ways might not suit your values. But if that guy or woman is elected by the people, then you have to honor that choice.”
Asked further who his personal choices are for senator, Duterte replied that he wanted someone who can help address the issues of food supply and reducing the prices of food.
“Whoever can help his fellow Filipino and who has the best of the ideas, I might get them or I might also nominate them. It’s a party decision so maybe just a give and take there,” he said.
He mentioned Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and Agriculture Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat as potential senatorial bets. He met the two during the opening of the Tienda farmers and fisherfolks outlet in Davao City on November 18.
But Piñol said Duterte was “just joking” when the President mentioned his name, adding that he prefers to continue serving as agriculture secretary and retire after Duterte’s term ends.
Roque earlier said that he intends to focus on his current job as a presidential spokesperson, adding that he does not have the funds to support a senatorial campaign.
Uson, on the other hand, denied any plans to run for the senate this 2019, but said that she’d consider it if Duterte asks her to do so.
After issuing her initial clarification that she will not run for a Senate seat, Uson issued two more statements explaining her position on the issue.
Sources: ( philstar.com )