Grace Poe, Magsaysay join LP Senate slate

By Lynda Jumilla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2012 10:18 AM | Updated as of Sep 11 2012 09:50 AM

MANILA - Former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson Grace Poe-Llamanzares are the latest additions to the administration senatorial ticket next year.

President Aquino made the announcement in a chat with newsmen in Vladivostok, Russia, where he attended the 20th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Meeting.

“Grace Poe-Llamanzares is already in the ticket…Tapos si former Senator Jun Magsaysay,” said the President, who was initially reluctant to talk about the ticket pending further agreements with other Liberal Party (LP) officials and their coalition partners.

Poe and Magsaysay join former Congresswoman Risa Hontiveros, Aurora Congressman Sonny Angara and Sen. Koko Pimentel.

Mr. Aquino was non-committal about Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, who was earlier reported to be among the President’s original choices.

The commissioner earlier said his family has yet to decide who between him and his father, former Senator now Muntinlupa Congressman Rodolfo Biazon, should run for the senate. Commissioner Biazon lost in his 2010 senatorial bid.

The President also declined to confirm the inclusion of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Joel Villanueva, who was also earlier touted to be among his personal choices.

“But of course, we have to respond to surveys, we have to respond to the feedback we get from the ground. We want to make sure that the right timing happens for all of the candidates. Hindi ‘yung mamadaliin mo, at isa-sacrifice mo isang tao. So baka not the right time,” Mr. Aquno said.

Villanueva, a former congressman, has yet to break into the top 20 in senatorial preference surveys.

Mr. Aquino likewise sidestepped questions about his friend reelectionist senator Chiz Escudero, who does not see eye-to-eye with some of the President’s LP partymates.

LP is in an informal coalition with the Nacionalista Party and the Nationalist People’s Coalition. Mr. Aquino said they have yet to decide how many slots will each party get.