MANILA, Philippines - The political party founded by former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo is also now gearing for the 2013 polls.
The opposition Lakas-Kampi-CMD is considering fielding actress and Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado Revilla in the senatorial slate next year.
Minority Leader Danilo Suarez said they are still convincing Mercado to run. "One potential congressman si Lani Mercado. Hindi pa siya decided kung tatakbo siya. We’re trying to convince her."
Mercado’s husband, Bong Revilla, is already an incumbent senator.
Suarez and other leaders of the former ruling party are meeting this Friday at the Manila Diamond Hotel to plan the direction of the party.
Last night, party leaders met with the detained former president at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center to update her on the party developments.
Suarez said Lakas will field its own candidates although they may not be able to push for a full slate.
Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay is already running for senator as a candidate of Lakas and an adopted candidate of the United Nationalist Alliance of Vice President Jejomar Binay and former President Joseph Estrada.
"Our objective is to come up with a strong line-up. We still have the highest number of elected officials in government, outside [the Aquino-led Liberal Party]. Concern nya [Arroyo], wag pabayaan ang kandidato ng Lakas," Suarez said.
He insisted there will be no alliances or mergers with other parties.
He said Lakas still has its strengths at the local level. "We have command votes. We have district provinces where Lakas still maintains command votes."
Suarez said command votes are crucial for senators in ranks 8th to 12th since their margins are very near.