Mid-term elections are historically considered as a referendum on the presidency.
This means it is a popular reckoning of the performance of the sitting administration halfway into its term.
At stake are half of the seats of the Senate, all positions in the House of Representatives, provincial governors, city and municipal mayors, and all members of local legislative bodies.
The outcome of mid-term elections would decide whether the President would be able to finish his agenda in the remaining years of his term.
If both houses of Congress remain under the control of the administration, the Duterte agenda or ongoing programs of government would be safe and secure.
Otherwise, President Duterte would face an obstructive Congress that could sit on his agenda.
Therefore, the President should pick candidates with impeccable credentials proven competence and sterling character.
In short, they should be surefire winners.
But who are on Malacañang’s shortlist? Do they fit the bill? Are they up to the task?
Among them are six re-electionists namely, Senators Grace Poe, Sonny Angara, Cynthia Villar, JV Ejercito, Nancy Binay, and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
The line-up is also composed of Representatives Ace Barbers, Albee Benitez, Karlo Nograles, Zajid Mangudadatu, Geraldine Roman, Reynaldo Umali, and Pia Cayetano.
Also included in the slate are Special Assistant to the President Secretary Bong Go, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino, communications assistant secretary Mocha Uson, musician Freddie Aguilar, former interior secretary Raffy Alunan, and TV reporter Jiggy Manicad.
According to the Senate president, the senatorial bets should express their support to the platforms of the political party.
“We will look at their service to the party. The party is very supportive. Our number one advocacy is federalism. Members should show their active support to the federalism movement,” Said Pimentel.
The Senate president also said that the line-up would undergo the scrutiny of the party chairman, President Duterte.
The final line-up of the party’s senatorial slate is set to be released in September.