Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III topped the senatorial slate of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), with Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte and Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go statistically tied in second place.
The top 3 came out in a survey conducted among 184 party members composed of the party’s national officers, national government officials, members of Congress, local government officials, and party leaders representing the private sector held at the Gymnasium of the GSIS Financial Center along Roxas Boulevard on August 31.
The following day, PDP-Laban released its “very possible” list of 15 Senate bets:
1. PDP-Laban President Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (175)
2-3. Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio (155)
2-3. Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go (153)
4. Political Adviser of the President, Sec. Francis Tolentino (125)
5. Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles (116)
6. Senator Eduardo “Sonny” Angara, III (112)
7. Former PNP General Director Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa (110)
8. Senator Cynthia Villar (103)
9. Taguig City Representative Pia Cayetano (100)
10. Maguindanao 2nd District Representative Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu (95)
11. Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque (87)
12. Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito (85)
13. Senator Grace Poe (85)
14. Senator Nancy Binay (58)
15. Former Sec. Raffy Alunan (52)
The respondents were asked to choose among 24 senatorial hopefuls, composed of PDP-Laban officials, friends of PDP-Laban, and the incumbent senators who are set for re-election in May 2019.
Go expressed his heartfelt gratitude for his inclusion in the senatorial line up of the PDP-Laban.
“Ako po ay taos-pusong nagpapasalamat sa aking mga kapartido para sa kanilang pagpapakita ng suporta sa akin. Nakakataba po ng puso na hindi pa man ako nagbibigay ng interes sa pagtakbo ay napakarami nang taong sumusuporta sa akin,” he said.
(I am sincerely thankful to my fellow party members for their show of support for me. It warms my heart that a lot of people are already supporting me even though I have not even expressed interest in running.)
The party had met with President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, who is the party’s Chairman, to ask for help in finalizing the senatorial lineup for the 2019 midterm elections.
Also present in the meeting was party Secretary General Davao del Norte Rep. Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, party Vice Chairman Alfonso Cusi, regional heads of the party, and other national government officials.
In an interview, PDP-Laban president Pimentel said the President will support the possible candidates as long as they are “honest, principled, service-oriented, and competent.”
President Duterte once again lauded PDP Laban for being a “principled party” and encouraged its members to maintain the Party’s integrity.
The party has gained mass support because public interest and good governance are always at the top of its agenda.
Pimentel said “very possible” means all the personalities in the list are interested in running for the Senate.