By GENALYN D. KABILING
Malacañang is optimistic that senatorial candidates endorsed by President Duterte will have a huge chance of victory in the 2019 midterm elections.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo has recognized the impact of a presidential endorsement in the polls, saying it was “logical” that people will choose bets supported by the country’s popular leader.
“I think so considering the overwhelming the popularity of the President,” Panelo said during a recent Palace press briefing, when asked if they were confident administration candidates will win in the elections.
“The people who support him will support the candidates he will endorse and that’s logical and understandable,” said Panelo, also concurrent Chief Presidential Legal Counsel.
Panelo made the remarks after Commission on Elections started accepting Certificates of Candidacies filed by poll aspirants. The period of filing of CoCs, which began last Oct. 11, will end this Wednesday, Oct. 17.
Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and former Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald dela Rosa were among the first batch of administration party PDP-Laban senatorial bets who filed their CoCs last week.
Pimentel mentioned presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino, former presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go, Makati City Rep. Monsour Del Rosario, and Maguindanano Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu as other possible senatorial candidates of the ruling party.
Duterte welcomed that more people were running in the elections to give the public more choices. “The more the better. At least there’s a wider choice for the people. Let the best man win,” Duterte said.