ILOCOS - Actor and senatorial candidate Robin Padilla is not the 12th senatorial bet of the BBM-Sara UniTeam's senatorial slate, despite the endorsement of Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
The clarification came from presidential aspirant and former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., after his running mate made the announcement at a grand rally in Ilocos Norte, Wednesday night.
“Una po, kasamahan namin na mga senators sa UniTeam, 12 na po kami ngayong araw na ito," Duterte said before mentioning Padilla. The announcement drew cheers from the audience.
However, minutes later Marcos Jr. told the crowd that the actor was not yet part of the UniTeam slate.
“Alam niyo po, si Robin Padilla, kahit hindi po namin kasama ‘yan sa line up ng mga senador [ng UniTeam Alliance] ay matagal na po naming naging kaibigan ‘yan,” Marcos said.
“At kaya naman eh kahit na hindi siya technically naisama (sa UniTeam Alliance senatoriables), eh pagka-nandiyan siya, kapag mayroon siyang panahon eh sinasama namin,” Marcos added.
Marcos even said in jest that the actor shouldn’t be too handsome since the former senator and other candidates on stage were supposedly having a hard time catching up.
“Yun lamang ay hindi ninyo nalalaman, habang kumakanta si Robin Padilla, nagkabotohan doon sa likod, sabi noong ibang mga senador 'wag na nating sinasama ‘yan, masyadong malakas ang kalaban,'” Bongbong said.
The night ended with more confusion as Padilla admitted during an ambush interview that even he was not sure if he was part of the UniTeam's slate.
“Wala pa pong pormal na usapan, kasi po yung sa amin ni Ma’am Sara, ano po ‘yun e, talagang ako’y nasa ilalim niya,” Padilla said.
In recent campaign rallies, Sara has been endorsing ‘friends’ running for senate seats, but are not part of the UniTeam's senate lineup.
Among them are Padilla, Senator Joel Villanueva, Sorsogon governor Chiz Escudero, former vice president Jejomar Binay, former senator JV Ejercito, former presidential chief legal counsel Sal Panelo, and former Philippine National Police chief Guillermo Eleazar.
If Padilla completes the Marcos-Duterte senatorial lineup, he will still be listed as part of the slate of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) faction led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
The PDP-Laban is the country’s ruling political party, where Sara’s father President Rodrigo Duterte is the incumbent national chairman of the Cusi faction.
Padilla is also included in a list of 12 senatorial candidates that topped Pulse Asia's recent survey of preferred upper house bets.