'Grace Poe, Nancy Binay may join Duterte Senate bets if...'

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 03 2018 11:21 AM | Updated as of Jan 03 2018 11:27 AM

MANILA - Will re-electionist Senators Grace Poe and Nancy Binay join the PDP-Laban senatorial lineup for 2019? It's possible, according to Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, as long as the two senators jump ship and join the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan.

Alvarez rejected the idea of adding guest candidates to the 2019 PDP-Laban senatorial line-up, including those who may be seeking re-election.

Asked if they will include Poe in the roster, Alvarez replied: "Kung mag-PDP siya."

"Di ko kailangan ng mga guest candidates, ang daming gustong tumakbo na PDP…Pag independent ka, you run as independent," he told ANC's Headstart.

"Kung guest candidate ka lang, hindi ka committed sa party, sa mga advocacy ng party, sa mga advocacy ng pangulo," he said.

Senators Nancy Binay, Sonny Angara, JV Ejercito may also seek re-election and they may join PDP-Laban’s senatorial slate if they join the party, said Alvarez.

Senator Cynthia Villar, meanwhile, may join the lineup since the party has a coalition agreement with her Nacionalista Party, added Alvarez.

Members of PDP-Laban occupy a majority of key positions in the government. Among them are President Rodrigo Duterte, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, and Alvarez.

Pimentel, who also heads the party, previously said that the "offer" will prioritize incumbent senators. Party outsiders, he added, will only be considered if PDP-Laban fails to complete its "Magic 12."

Pimentel's term ends in 2019 and may seek re-election.

In November, Alvarez named Communications Assistant Secretary Margaux "Mocha" Uson and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque among those who may seek a 2019 senatorial seat under the party banner.

Also on the list are lawmakers Karlo Nograles, Geraldine Roman, and Albee Benitez, and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chair Francis Tolentino, who is now a political adviser to Duterte.

"Magpapatakbo ako ng mga senador na alam kong magtatrabaho kasi nababagalan nga ako, assuming na pareho pa rin yung form of government," Alvarez said in the interview.