A Visayas congressman, who holds a key position in the ruling party, told reporters yesterday that Carpio and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who is PDP-Laban vice chairman, reached the agreement during the President’s recent official trip to Israel and Jordan.
Boy Santos
Hugpong, PDP-Laban fielding common Senate slate
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - September 19, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The ruling PDP-Laban party, whose titular head is President Duterte, and Hugpong ng Pagbabago, led by his daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, have agreed to field a common senatorial slate in the May 2019 elections.

A Visayas congressman, who holds a key position in the ruling party, told reporters yesterday that Carpio and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who is PDP-Laban vice chairman, reached the agreement during the President’s recent official trip to Israel and Jordan.

The Davao City mayor and Cusi were part of the President’s delegation.

The lawmaker, who did not want to be named as he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said Carpio and Cusi initially came up with a list of seven common candidates.

He named the candidates as Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III, who is PDP-Laban president, special presidential assistant Christopher Go, presidential spokesman Harry Roque, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, presidential political adviser and defeated senatorial aspirant Francis Tolentino, New Bilibid Prison chief Ronald dela Rosa and former broadcaster Giggy Manicad.

The source said three senators seeking reelection were being considered to be in the common administration ticket. They are Sonny Angara, Joseph Victor Ejercito and Cynthia Villar.

The lawmaker said Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, a former senator, would also be in the slate.

He said another incumbent senator seeking a second term could fill the remaining 12th slot.

“The two administration parties will have to complete the ticket soon because of the filing of certificates of candidacy early next month,” he stressed.

He added that the President was informed of the efforts of the two administration parties to field a common slate and its initial composition.

Asked if former speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, who is PDP-Laban secretary general, has been consulted, the congressman said, “He was not in Israel and Jordan.”

Earlier, Pimentel said aside from Ejercito, Villar and Angara, Sens. Grace Poe and Nancy Binay could also make it in the common slate.

He named the other potential administration candidates as Reps. Alfredo Benitez of Negros Occidental, Karlo Nograles of Davao City, Geraldine Roman of Bataan and Rey Umali of Mindoro Oriental.

Benitez has given up his senatorial aspirations, saying he would just help the President campaign for his candidates and would devote his remaining nine months in the legislature in the service of his constituents in Negros Occidental’s third district.

Carpio has endorsed the candidacy of Nograles, who is her relative and constituent in Davao City.

She had earlier endorsed the senatorial bid of her maternal cousin Nograles, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos and former senator Jinggoy Estrada.    – With Delon Porcalla

SARA DUTERTE-CARPIO
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