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Pimentel bares shortlist of senatorial bets




SENATOR Aquilino “Koko” Pi­mentel III has formally asked President Duterte to look into the possible candidates of the Partido Demokratiko ng Bayan-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) for the 2019 senatorial elections.

In a letter dated Aug. 15, 2018, Pimentel, PDP-Laban president, sought President Duterte’s opinion on the shortlist of 24 names for their senatorial slate in the May, 2019 midterm polls.

The letter mentioned personali­ties known to be allies of the Chief Executive, including Pimentel, who will be seeking his third term, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go; former MMDA chairman and Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino; Representative Karlo Nograles; Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu; Rep. Geraldine Roman; Rep. Monsour del Rosario; Rep. Alfredo Benitez; Rep. Dakila Cua; musician Freddie Aguilar, and journalist Jiggy Mani­cad.

Pimentel also cited non-PDP-La­ban members, whom he described as “friends of the party.” They were Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio; Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque; Rep. Pia Cayetano; former senators Lito Lapid, former Interior secretary Rafael Alunan, former police chief and Bureau of Corrections chief Gen. Ronald dela Rosa; broadcaster Ramon Tulfo, actor Robin Padilla.

The PDP-Laban leader, on Thurs­day, urged Duterte-Carpio to run for a Senate seat in 2019, despite repeated denial from the presiden­tial daughter that she will run as senator.

Pimentel also endorsed to the President the five reelectionist senators in the Senate’s majority bloc, namely: Sens. Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Joseph Victor Ejer­cito, Grace Poe, and Cynthia Villar.

He told Duterte that the sena­tors were “generally supportive of your administration.”

Pimentel, in his letter, also asked the President for a meeting on the matter “at the earliest possible time” to prepare for the elections.