Why endorse 13 candidates for 12 slots? Sara Duterte explains

Pia Ranada

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Why endorse 13 candidates for 12 slots? Sara Duterte explains


Asked why Hugpong ng Pagbabago's senatorial slate is dominated by old names in politics, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte says 'there are no other senators running'

BATAAN, Philippines – Why endorse 13 people for only 12 Senate slots? 

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte sought to explain this conundrum on Wednesday, February 13, in a media interview in Mariveles, Bataan.

“Binibigay na namin sa mga tao, sa mga individual voters, kung sino ‘yung 12 na pipiliin nila sa 13 candidates na tinutulungan ng Hugpong ng Pagbabago  (We are giving people the choice, the individual voters, the 12 they will pick out of the 13 candidates that Hugpong ng Pagbabago is supporting),” she said, referring to her regional party which also curiously has a Senate slate despite it not being a national party. 

Endorsing 13 candidates is a risky business since a voter’s ballot could get invalidated if they vote for more than 12 candidates.

Duterte said they’ve taken some precautions to prevent this from happening.

“That’s why we don’t mention that we are endorsing 13 candidates and you can listen during the rallies, we don’t say that. We only present them onstage and we let the voters choose from the candidates onstage,” she said.

Who is Sara’s 12? 

Because a voter can pick only 12 candidates, even Sara will have to vote for only 12. Who will be the HNP candidate she won’t vote for? 

The presidential daughter said she will pick her 12 senators based on 3 factors.

“Well, first is track record. Second is what they are saying they will do in the Senate for the progress of our country. Third is of course support for the Duterte administration,” said Duterte. 

The Davao City mayor was also asked why, despite it’s name, HNP is dominated by old names, longtime and traditional politicians. Examples include reelectionists JV Ejercito, Cynthia Villar, and Sonny Angara. Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada are seeking a comeback. Imee Marcos is daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

“Wala na kasing ibang senators na tumatakbo (There are no other senators running),” she said in response.

She also pointed out that there are some new faces in HNP’s slate: former presidential aide Bong Go, former police chief Ronald dela Rosa, former political adviser Francis Tolentino, and former reporter Jiggy Manicad.

But these 4 are a small portion of the 13-member slate. Tolentino had also run for senator but lost in 2016. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.