MANILA, Philippines – Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, whose father and namesake fought the Marcos dictatorship decades ago, is open to running on the same senatorial slate with Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos in the 2019 elections.
He, however, has one condition: “Basta hindi sila PDP-Laban (As long as they’re not part of PDP-Laban),” referring to the party of which he is president.
Pimentel said this in a #TheLeaderIWant interview with Rappler on Wednesday, November 14.
Pimentel is running for reelection under the banner of PDP-Laban. His father founded the original party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino, during Martial Law.
While President Rodrigo Duterte is member of PDP-Laban, his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duerte, formed Hugpong ng Pagbabago. The regional party is endorsing its own senatorial slate, which carries PDP candidates and allies of the President, Marcos among them.
He said of the possible common slate: “Hindi na siguro PDP-Laban slate ‘yan. There will be a new name. Ipaubaya ko na po sa campaign managers.” (It will no longer be a PDP-Laban slate. There will be a new name. I will leave it up to our campaign managers.)
The party’s campaign managers are Senator Manny Pacquiao and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.
“Basta hindi sila PDP-Laban. Tapos na po kami, 5 po kandidato. If this will be expanded, ipaubaya ko na sa campaign managers,” he reiterated. (As long as they’re not PDP-Laban. We are done choosing [for the party]. We already have 5 candidates. If the slate will be expanded, it’s up to our campaign managers.)
PDP-Laban has 5 candidates, all party members:
- Zajid Mangudadatu, Maguindanao 2nd district representative
- Francis Tolentino, former presidential political adviser
- Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, former Bureau of Corrections chief
- Bong Go, President Rodrigo Duterte’s close aide and former special assistant to the President
Pimentel said there is no law that requires a party to field a full slate for the 12 Senate seats available. He, however, admitted that party chairman President Duterte wants a complete lineup.
“Nanghihinayang siya sa slots,” Pimentel said. (He doesn’t want to put the slots to waste.)
Duterte and the Marcoses have close ties, with the President saying he owes Imee for his 2016 victory. – Rappler.com