PDP-Laban to give 'unknowns' shot at Senate slate – Pimentel

MANILA, Philippines – The ruling PDP-Laban will give political "unknowns" a shot at earning a spot on its senatorial slate in the 2019 elections, the party's president said on Wednesday, April 25.

Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III made the statement at the Kapihan sa Manila Bay on Wednesday, in response to quesitons on the results of Pulse Asia’s March survey on potential candidates in the 2019 senatorial race. (READ: Duterte magic to be tested in 2019 Senate race)

Asked if party leaders would give much weight to surveys in the final senatorial slate, Pimentel said the survey results would only be one factor.

“It will play a weight, heavy or not, especially if some of those invited refuse, for example, and we need to fill up our slate, then kahit na low ranking ka sa survey (even if you're low ranking in the survey) [we will consider],” Pimentel said.

Ang belief kasi namin, (our belief is) we want to develop party politics. The party must be able to help even the unknowns win elections. And we are willing to give it a try," he added.

While some people identified as potentiial PDP-Laban Senate bets did well in the survey, others fared poorly or were far from the so-called "Magic 12" or the circle of probable winners if elections were held during the survey period in March.  (READ: Erwin Tulfo pulls a surprise; Sara Duterte, Dela Rosa join 'Magic 12' in survey)

Pimentel was the only PDP-Laban member who made it to the Magic 12 in the March survey.

The senator said the survey results are "still too early" and the rankings "can still change" as election day draws nearer.

Some administration allies who are in the current winners' circle are not on the initial shortlist of potential candidates Pimentel revealed to the media last week, such as  Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, media personality Erwin Tulfo, and former police chief Ronald dela Rosa.

Pimentel reiterated that potential candidates should support the Duterte administration’s priorities and the bid for federalism. (READ: PDP-Laban 2019 bets must be pro-federalism – Pimentel)

PDP-Laban would also consider party membership and service to the party. – Rappler.com

Sofia Tomacruz

Sofia Tomacruz covers foreign affairs, the overseas Filipino workers, and elections. She also writes stories on the treatment of women and children. Follow her on Twitter @sofiatomacruz. Email her at sofia.tomacruz@rappler.com.

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