There was no pre-planned event for President Rodrigo Duterte to publicly endorse his chosen senatorial bets for 2022. Instead, Duterte headed to the Sofitel tent, the Comelec’s venue for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for national posts, to raise the hands of his anointed candidates for 2022.
Duterte arrived at around 3:30 pm on Friday, October 8, the last day of filing of COCs for presidential, vice presidential, senatorial, and party-list aspirants.
One-by-one, Duterte’s chosen candidates took turns joining him at the spot where people who filed their candidates typically pause for photo opportunities. Duterte himself is not a 2022 candidate.
The president, who is also chairman of the ruling PDP-Laban, raised the arms of several allies – a mix of Cabinet members, appointees, and celebrity endorsers: former public works and highways chief Mark Villar, agrarian reform chief John Castriciones, informations and communications technology chief Gregorio Honasan, presidential legal council Salvador Panelo, anti-corruption commission head Greco Belgica, Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta, action star Robin Padilla, and broadcaster Rey Langit. Duterte also endorsed Mocha Uson, an appointee infamous for her role is spreading fake information.
Duterte left right after taking photos with his anointed candidates.
As of posting, PDP-Laban, the ruling party with two opposing factions, has yet to formally release its list of senatorial bets for 2022. Over the past week, however – as COCs were being filed – PDP-Laban swore in new members, a handful of them senate bets.
The faction let by energy chief Alfonso Cusi earlier released a tentative list of Senate bets, but several of its early nominees did not push through a senate run.
Despite the strange set-up, the Comelec insisted there was “no special treatment” extended to Duterte and his endorsed candidates. – Rappler.com