Duterte to court vote-rich Laguna, Cebu for Senate bets

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2019 05:06 PM

Duterte to court vote-rich Laguna, Cebu for Senate bets 1
President Rodrigo Duterte raises the hands of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan senatorial bets during the party's proclamation and kick-off rally held in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan, Feb. 14, 2019. Rey Baniquet, Presidential Photo

BIÑAN CITY, LAGUNA - President Rodrigo Duterte will skip his weekend rest to rally behind his preferred Senate bets in the 2019 elections as he is expected to go to vote-rich provinces of Laguna and Cebu.

The President was scheduled to visit Biñan City, Laguna on Saturday afternoon to court the votes of some 1.6 million registered voters. He will be in Cebu City in Cebu, a province that is home to 2.7 million voters, on Sunday to endorse his bets.

The two events are hosted by the ruling party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino - Lakas ng Bayan, which is chaired by the President.

PDP-Laban candidates include reelectionist Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, former police chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, former special assistant to the president Christopher “Bong” Go, Maguindanao Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu, and former presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino.

Non-party members who are among 11 individuals Duterte is endorsing are reelectionist Senators JV Ejercito, Sonny Angara and Cynthia Villar, Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos, and folk singer Freddie Aguilar, who belongs to the other faction of PDP-Laban but still enjoys the President’s endorsement.

Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, has also endorsed her own senatorial slate composed of 13 bets. The mayor and her father’s slates are composed of essentially almost the same candidates, with a slight difference.

Duterte-Carpio’s regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago, endorses the candidacies of Pimentel, Go, Dela Rosa, Mangudadatu, Tolentino, Angara, Ejercito, Villar, Cayetano, Marcos, former journalist Jiggy Manicad, and former senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jinggoy Estrada. 

Duterte has excluded Estrada and Revilla, both tagged in the diversion of discretionary funds during their time in the Senate, from his list.