MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The opposition bloc on Monday, September 10, revealed its initial list of candidates for the 2019 senatorial elections.
Senator Francis Pangilinan, president of the Liberal Party, gave the following names to Rappler:
Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV
Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano
Former Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas
Former chief justice Maria Lourdes Sereno
Former Quezon Representative Erin Tañada
Lawyer Chel Diokno
Former Bangsamoro Transition Committee member Samira Gutoc
Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay
Former Akbayan Representative Ibarra Gutierrez
Former presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda
Manolo Quezon III
Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal
Former Social Welfare secretary Corazon "Dinky" Soliman
Ex-chief justice Hilario Davide Jr
Pangilinan said the list was a result of a series of meetings between the Liberal Party and its coalition partners over the past months.
"I can confirm that our list has more than enough names to fill a slate; we have no shortage of people who are qualified and competent, who have sterling track records, and who can help change the trajectory of the country," Pangilinan said.
Asked if this is a wish list or already a done deal, the senator said that they are "still in talks with a number of them."
Pangilinan said they would soon present the names to Vice President Leni Robredo. He said they are expecting the process to be completed before the end of September.
Of the 18, only Aquino was included in the so-called Magic 12 in pre-election surveys, ranking 6th to 14th in the July 2018 Pulse Asia survey.
Roxas, who remains mum on his political plans, ranked 14th to 21st in the same poll; Isidro, 23rd to 32nd; and Tañada, 32nd to 38th.
The Commission on Elections has set the filing of Certificates of Candidacy from October 1 to 5. But the Senate and the House of Representatives have separately approved resolutions calling on the Comelec to move it to October 11 to 17. – Rappler.com