Mocha, Freddie Aguilar and Bong Go: Here are PDP-Laban's possible Senate bets in 2019

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Mocha, Freddie Aguilar and Bong Go: Here are PDP-Laban's possible Senate bets in 2019
Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel, who is also the president of PDP-Laban, said that Freddie Aguilar meets the qualifications to become a senator.
Philstar / Junats Asuncion

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:30 p.m.) — Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III on Thursday revealed the names of people being considered to run as senators under the PDP-Laban.

News5 reported that 20 people are included on the ruling party’s list of possible bets. They are:

  1. Senate President Koko Pimentel
  2. Sen. Grace Poe
  3. Sen. Sonny Angara
  4. Sen. Cynthia Villar
  5. Sen. JV Ejercito
  6. Sen. Nancy Binay
  7. Rep. Ace Barbers
  8. Rep. Albee Benitez
  9. Rep. Karlo Nograles
  10. Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu
  11. Rep. Geraldine Roman
  12. Rep. Rey Umali
  13. Rep. Pia Cayetano
  14. Special assistant to the president Bong Go
  15. Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque
  16. President’s political adviser Francis Tolentino
  17. Presidential Communications assistant secretary Mocha Uson
  18. Former Interior and Local Government chief Raffy Alunan
  19. GMA-7 reporter Jiggy Manicad 
  20. Folk musician Freddie Aguilar

The five re-electionist senators included on the list are not members of the ruling political party.

In the 2013 elections, Angara ran under Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino, Binay ran under the United Nationalist Alliance, Ejercito was from Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, Poe ran as an independent and Villar is from the Nacionalista Party.

PDP-Laban will choose the final candidates by September.

Pimentel earlier said that President Rodrigo Duterte would have the final say on the party’s line-up for the 2019 senatorial polls.

Pimentel: Aguilar qualified to run

Pimentel said Aguilar's membership in the ruling party is the reason for his possible inclusion on the senatorial list. He said the musician who popularized the song “Anak” meets the qualifications to become a senator.

The 1987 Constitution sets the following qualifications for senators:

  • Natural-born citizen of the Philippines
  • At least 35 years of age on the age of the election
  • Able to read and write
  • Registered voter
  • Resident of the Philippines for not less than two years immediately preceding the day of the election

“He has all of them. And for sure, he has ideas on how legislation can solve some of our problems,” Pimentel said without elaboration.

In a radio interview Thursday, Aguilar said he is mulling a senatorial run in 2019 because of calls to do so from friends and supporters,

Aguilar, who sang one of Duterte’s campaign jingles, was reported in 2016 to have been appointed as the chairman of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts but commissioners instead picked Virgilio Almario—a poet, literary historian and National Artist for Literature—for the elective position in 2017.

In a TV5 interview in July 2016 on how Aguilar would resolve the controversy surrounding the Torre de Manila, a high-rise condominium project that is said to have destroyed the view of the Rizal Monument, the singer suggested "[changing] the places of the Rizal monument and the carabao-tamaraw statues."

"I would make Rizal face us instead of the sea," he said.

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