MANILA - An official of the ruling PDP-Laban has bared their potential senatorial ticket for the 2022 elections, headlined by members of President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet, former lawmakers and celebrities.
Eastern Samar Gov. Ben Evardone, PDP-Laban's newly elected vice president for Visayas, said Duterte, the party's chairman, is finalizing their senatorial lineup.
Making the initial cut are the following:
- Public Works Secretary Mark Villar
- Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo
- Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque
- Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade
- Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III
- Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles
- Information and Communications Secretary and former senator Gringo Honasan
- Deputy Speaker and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda
- Senator Miguel Zubiri
- Raffy Tulfo
- Willie Revillame
Possible additions, he said, are Greco Belgica of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission, actor Robin Padilla, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, former Senator JV Ejercito, and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairperson Benjamin Abalos.
“Nothing is final yet. the vetting and consultation process is still ongoing,” Evardone told ABS-CBN News in a text message.
The PDP-Laban is not among the 5 parties seeking to be allies with Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio's Hugpong ng Pagbabago.
A faction of the party has urged Duterte to run for vice president, which his allies say is not against the 1987 Constitution.
The Duterte daughter-father tandem emerged as the most preferred for the presidency and vice presidency in next year's elections, based on the latest Pulse Asia survey.
For the position of senator, only Tulfo, Legarda, Revillame and Zubiri made it to the winning circle in the same survey.
A prominent administration ally noticeably absent in this list is former House Speaker and Taguig Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, who has ruled out running for Vice President and is only considering a higher office or a second term as congressman.
On Saturday, senators Manny Pacquiao and Koko Pimentel were supposedly removed as PDP-Laban's president and executive vice-chairman in a national assembly called by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who was previously expelled as the party's vice chairman. Cusi was elected president of the party during the said gathering.
Pimentel, son of the late Sen. Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel, Jr., a founding member of PDP-Laban, said the Saturday event is illegal and all actions made have no force.