Political foes, Senate reelectionists in Robredo’s 11-man slate

Xave Gregorio - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 1:58 p.m.) — Vice President Leni Robredo unveiled Friday an 11-man senatorial lineup for the 2022 elections, which include political foes and Senate reelectionists.

Among the six additional names she announced as part of her Senate slate was former Vice President Jejomar Binay, who previously butted heads with former Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV over corruption allegations. Trillanes is also part of Robredo’s Senate slate.

Sens. Dick Gordon and Leila de Lima — who clashed during Senate probes into drug-related killings back in 2016 — are also featured on the Robredo ticket.

Gordon, Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri and Sen. Joel Villanueva, who all voted to oust De Lima as chairperson of the Senate justice committee in 2016, are also on Robredo’s senatorial lineup.

De Lima, as justice secretary, filed a complaint against Villanueva over his alleged misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund, or more popularly known as pork barrel.

Robredo acknowledged that there were past disagreements among some members of her Senate slate, but said that they all agreed to unite for shared aspirations for the country.

“Ang shine-share namin ngayon yung aspirations para sa bansa natin. Noong kinausap natin sila, ‘yung commitment na makinig, ‘yung commitment na mag-share ng isang la mesa para pagusapan kung paano magpanday ng mas magandang bukas,” Robredo said.

(What we’re sharing now is our aspirations for our country. When we spoke to them, they committed to listen, they committed to share a table to talk about how to forge a better tomorrow.)

Asked about the corruption and cheating allegations that some in her slate have faced in the past, Robredo — who is running on a campaign for good governance — sidestepped the question and said that none of them are perfect.

Overlapping bets

Also in Robredo’s senatorial lineup are Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero, former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat, and lawyers Chel Diokno and Alex Lacson.

Some of Robredo’s picks for senator are also in the tickets of other presidential aspirants.

Binay, Gordon, Villanueva and Zubiri have been included in the tickets of Sens. Ping Lacson and Manny Pacquiao.

Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, who helped in negotiations for Robredo’s Senate lineup, said that they have agreed that those featured in multiple tickets should not be supporting any particular presidential candidate.

“We would like to suggest that at the minimum, you would not endorse any candidate for president so that you will stay as a guest candidate of a number of parties and groupings,“ Drilon said.

12th candidate

Robredo said consultations with various groups are underway to determine who would be the last person to complete her Senate lineup.

She said that she wants the 12th candidate in her ticket to be a representative of the marginalized sector and that among the “four or five” nominees for this slot are former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares and Federation of Free Workers president Sonny Matula.

Philstar.com learned Thursday that talks are ongoing between Robredo, Colmenares and Matula for their possible inclusion in her Senate slate.

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