SPECIAL Assistant to the President Bong Go and Chairman of the House committee on justice Reynaldo Umali are on Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s list of senatoribles.
Alvarez announced their names as among those eyed as candidates of the ruling Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Laban ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
During the mass oath taking of new members from Caloocan, Alvarez appealed to the new recruits to support the candidates of the administration in the coming 2019 mid-term elections.
Go is known to be very close to President Rodrigo Duterte while Umali chaired the committee that heard the impeachment case against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
Umali was a former member of Liberal Party and close ally of former President Benigno Aquino III. In fact, he was one of the prosecutors in the Chief Justice Renato Corona impeachment.
Aside from the two, Alvarez said other senatorial wannabes are Senate President Koko Pimentel, Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez, Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, Maguindanao Rep. Sajid Mangudadatu, who was the personal choice of President Rodrigo Duterte, and Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles.
Also included in the list are Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, Presidential Communications Assistant Mocha Uson and Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino.
According to Alvarez, PDP needs new senators to support the legislative agenda of the Duterte administration in the Senate.
“We (in the House) have passed a lot of bills but many are still pending in the Senate,” Alvarez noted.
However, Alvarez said performance in the surveys of the candidates would be an important guide for the administration in finalizing the senatorial slate.
“That’s important because we want our candidates to win. Also, we’d like to know if they are really serious in pursing their candidacy for the Senate,” he added.
Meanwhile, Alvarez said the growing number of ruling party members further bolsters support for President Duterte’s advocacy for federalism.
“We have schedules of activities like this (mass oath-taking) almost every weekend. This is encouraging because this shows the continuing support of our people for the President,” he noted.
What is significant, according to Alvarez, is that many barangay officials are joining the ruling party.
“We can pursue the programs of the President better if we have the support of the grassroots,” Alvarez said.