MANILA, Philippines – Valenzuela councilor Shalani Soledad-Romulo, ex-girlfriend of President Benigno Aquino III, is now setting her sights on higher office.
Soledad said she will take her political career to the next level when she files her certificate of candidacy to run for the congressional seat of their city's 2nd district.
She is one of several candidates endorsed Tuesday by the Liberal Party and the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) for the upcoming May 2013 elections in Valenzuela.
The event was held at Maricopa restaurant shortly after the candidates for the council and city mayor and vice-mayor positions filed their certificates of candidacy at the city's Commission on Elections (Comelec) office.
Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian, who was earlier being eyed for a possible senatorial bid under the United Nationalist Alliance, said he will seek the position of representative of Valenzuela’s 1st district to be vacated by his brother, Rep. Rex Gatchalian.
Mayor Gatchalian failed to hide his regrets that he had to drop out of the Senate race because of his low rankings in pre-election surveys.
"Medyo masama pa din loob ko, dahil alam naman natin na gusto ko talagang mag-serve sa bayan natin," he said.
But his younger brother was happy with the mayor’s decision.
"Mas OK nga at makakasama namin siya dito. Ang public service naman ‘di kailangan na national in form," said Rep. Gatchalian.
Pasig Rep. Roman Romulo, meanwhile, accompanied his wife, Shalani, to the event.
“Sa Kongreso naman kahit magkaiba kami ng posisyon, lalo sa panukalang batas, ‘di naman makakapekto ‘yun sa amin hangga't nag-uusap kami," he said when asked about the possibility of her wife’s winning the election.
Former Bb. Pilipinas-International 1990 Jennifer Pingree-Esplana will also run in 2013 to replace her spouse, Councilor Jerry Esplana.
Kapamilya star Charie Pineda will also join the race for a seat in the city council.
Pineda said she is not a newcomer to politics, having had experience as an official of the Sangguniang Kabataan in 2007.
She also said she believes that politics will not be a hindrance to her showbiz life.
"Ang taping po naman namin is M-W-F, so T-Th naman pwede kong i-devote sa council," she said.