MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte is endorsing at least 17 senatorial candidates in the May elections, most of whom are part of the PDP-Laban aligned with him and the UniTeam tandem of Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. and Sara Duterte-Carpio.
Duterte, during his speech at the PDP-Laban proclamation rally in Cebu on Thursday, said he is supporting the following senatorial aspirants:
- former PACC chief Greco Belgica
- former House Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano
- Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero
- former senator Jinggoy Estrada
- former senator JV Ejercito
- former senator Gringo Honasan
- broadcaster Rey Langit
- Deputy House Speaker Loren Legarda
- House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta
- actor Robin Padilla
- former chief presidential legal counsel Salvador “Sal” Panelo
- former Energy Undersecretary Astra Pimentel
- former Palace Spokesperson Harry Roque
- former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro
- Senator Joel Villanueva
- former DPWH Secretary Mark Villar
- Senator Miguel Zubiri
Among those Duterte named, only Belgica, Langit, Marcoleta, Padilla, Panelo, and Pimentel are part of the PDP-Laban Cusi wing's slate.
Meanwhile, Jinggoy Estrada, Honasan, Legarda, Roque, Teodoro, Villar, and Zubiri are part of the UniTeam senatorial lineup.
Duterte did not formally endorse former Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones during the event, who is on the slate of PDP-Laban.
He mentioned Castriciones, though, whom he designated to oversee the distribution of land titles to former rebels.
"He’s not here right now. I distributed about 100,000 plus. All the government-owned lands, I really gave it all. I’ve distributed about 300,000 land titles," he said of the official.
Duterte reiterated in the same event that he was not endorsing a candidate for president.