MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief and now Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Ronald dela Rosa, former customs chief Nicanor Faeldon, and actor Phillip Salvador took oath as members of the ruling PDP-Laban party on Wednesday, September 12.
Dela Rosa, Faeldon, and Salvador took their oath before Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, PDP-Laban president.
This came after Dela Rosa announced his senatorial bid on September 3. He said then that it was President Rodrigo Duterte himself who asked him to run in 2019.
Dela Rosa admitted that his high ratings in pre-election surveys were a factor in his decision. According to the June Pulse Asia survey, Dela Rosa ranked 5th to 12th, or within the winning cricle, with a 37.7% rating.
“Kasama na rin 'yun. Bakit naman magtatakbo-takbo ka kung di ka sigurado? Kung nasa ilalim ka, 'di na ko [tatakbo],” Dela Rosa told reporters. (That's also part of it. Why would you run if you are not sure to win, if you're in the bottom of surveys? I just won't run if that's the case.)
If he wins, he said he would focus on legislation on law enforcement, the correctional system, and the reimposition of the death penalty for drug pushers.
As for Faeldon, he said he just joined the party to support Duterte’s federalism campaign.
But Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, PDP-Laban vice chairman, said the party would soon announce the position Faeldon is running for.
“He wants to also promote federalism, so sumama sya sa amin (he joined us). Now, what position wil he be running for? Siguro malalaman na lang natin 'yan in the next two weeks. Nag-uusap-usap pa lang (Maybe we will know it in the next two weeks. We are still talking about it),” Cusi told reporters.
Faeldon was appointed Deputy Administrator III of the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) after being implicated in the P6.4-billion drug shipment that passed through the Bureau of Customs.
Actor Phillip Salvador, meanwhile, teased the media about the position he would run for: “Kung saan 'nyo 'ko nakikita, doon,” in an apparent reference to the Senate. (Wherever you see me, then I'll run for that post.)
Salvador, a die-hard Duterte supporter, has been tagging along the President’s events and even foreign trips. He ran for vice governor of Bulacan in 2016 under the Nationalist People's Coalition but lost.
PDP-Laban has yet to announce its complete senatorial slate. Pimentel said they are in the process of finalizing it ahead of the filing of Certificates of Candidacy from October 11 to 17. – Rappler.com