Third force? Alvarez unfazed by independent senators' bloc

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 06 2018 05:41 PM

MANILA - House Speaker and Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) Secretary-General Pantaleon Alvarez is unfazed by the emergence of a "Third Force" of independent bloc senators, some of whom may be seeking re-election in the 2019 mid-term elections.

"Ok lang yun, walang problema. Kaniya-kaniyang kampanya. Wala akong prublema doon--third group, fourth group, fifth group. Wala akong problema," he told reporters.

Senator JV Ejercito on Tuesday said the "Third Force" senators--he, Sonny Angara, Migz Zubiri, Sherwin Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, and Nancy Binay--were not picked by the ruling party for their senatorial slate.

However, he said that these are just "loose talks" and no one in the group has finalized yet if they will join the 2019 mid-term elections.

Asked if the PDP is willing to invite some of them to join the PDP slate for the mid-term polls, Alvarez said, "So far wala pa. Wala pa kasi kung mabubuo naman ang full slate ng PDP, yun na yun."

He said there are also no plans thus far to form alliances with other parties for the mid-term elections if they can complete their 12-member senatorial slate.

Alvarez confirmed he met with Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III recently to talk about the leaderships of the PDP at the regional level, adding that the PDP's network is ready for the 2019 campaign.

Asked if they trust the loyalties of their new party-mates, Alvarez said, "We have to bear in mind na yung interest ng mga local politicians, especially congressmen, yung loyalty andoon sa interest ng constituents sa district--how to deliver the services, how to deliver the goods to the district. Yun yung primary concern namin as representatives."