MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday identified a number of Cabinet members and other officials who may be gunning for seats in the 2019 mid-term elections.
In a situation briefing on typhoon Ompong in La Trinidad, Benguet, Duterte called Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino as senators.
“Senator Tolentino, this time you will win,” Duterte said.
Tolentino placed 13th in the 2016 senatorial elections. He was beaten by 12th placer Senator Leila de Lima.
Duterte said, apparently in jest, that Philippine National Police chief Oscar Albayalde and Department of Interior and Local Government Officer-in-Charge Eduardo Año should run for senator in the May 2019 polls.
“Si Senator Albayalde, pang 22 ito, pati si Año,” Duterte said.
“Kayong mga Pilipino, makinig kayo. If you want an advice, have some military men… I’d rather choose a military man.”
While he was the one to call some of his Cabinet members present in the situation briefing “senator”, Duterte said he does not want them to use the post-Ompong disaster as a means to boost their candidacies.
“Huwag ito kasi it involves lives eh, unsettling to one’s spirit, to one’s soul,” Duterte said.
Duterte also announced that former Customs chief and now Office of Civil Defense deputy administrator Nicanor Faeldon was also planning to run for governor in Mindoro.