Freddie Aguilar for senator? Yes, PDP-Laban eyes him for 2019

Camille Elemia
Freddie Aguilar for senator? Yes, PDP-Laban eyes him for 2019
(2ND UPDATE) Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III says broadcast journalist Jiggy Manicad is also included in the initial lineup

(2nd UPDATE) In a little over two years, veteran singer-songwriter Freddie Aguilar has come a long way – from being President Rodrigo Duterte’s supporter, theme song composer and singer, to possible senator in 2019.

No less than Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, president of the ruling party PDP-Laban, said that they are considering Aguilar as among the administration’s candidates in 2019.

Pimentel, however, said nothing is final yet due to the “overflow” of candidates. 

“Yes, because he is a party member,” Pimentel said when asked on Thursday, April 19.

“Go over the qualifications for senator. He has all of them. And for sure he has ideas on how legislation can solve some of our problems,” he added.

The 1987 Constitution says no person shall be a senator unless he is a natural-born Filipino citizen, at least 35 years old on election day, able to read and write, a registered voter, and a resident of the Philippines for not less than two years immediately preceding the day of the election.

Aguilar earlier claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte wanted to appoint him commissioner of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts. But nothing happened. 

In the end, the NCCA board chose Virgilio Almario, National Artist for Literature in 2003, to be chairman.

Last March, the Senate adopted a resolution recognizing Aguilar for his “lifetime outstanding contributions to Philippine arts and culture.”

The ruling party is also eyeing broadcast journalist Jiggy Manicad, who Pimentel said has already sworn allegiance to PDP-Laban. 

Aside from the two and Pimentel, a reelectionist, others being considered are the following:

  1. Senator JV Ejercito
  2. Senator Cynthia Villar
  3. Senator Nancy Binay
  4. Senator Sonny Angara
  5. Senator Grace Poe
  6. Representative Ace Barbers
  7. Representative Albee Benitez
  8. Represenative Karlo Nograles
  9. Representative Zajid Mangudadatu
  10. Representative Geraldine Roman
  11. Representative Rey Umali
  12. Representative Pia Cayetano
  13. Special Assistant to the President Bong Go
  14. Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque
  15. Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino
  16. Palace Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson
  17. Former interior secretary Raffy Alunan

 – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com