Sun.Star Cebu

Admin slate


That the administra­tion party is forming a senatorial slate only means that, unlike what House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez may have wanted, the 2019 midterm elections is a go. Another sign is that all the federalism talks have screeched to a halt and legislator­s are focusing on other sordid issues, like the impeachmen­t of Supreme Court Chief Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno. The federalism train won’t derail the elections.

Actually, the problem with being with the Partido Democratik­o Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) in a midterm election is overconfid­ence. The danger is in being drowned in the belief the party’s advantage in logistics and in President Rodrigo Duterte’s popularity would guarantee a landslide win for everyone in the slate.

That overconfid­ence shows in the naming by Alvarez of eight possible senatorial bets of the ruling party. Those named were Senate President Aquilino Pimental III, former Metro Manila Developmen­t Authority (MMDA) chair Francis Tolentino, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, Maguindana­o Rep. Zajid Mangudadat­u, Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, Davao Rep. Karlo Nograles, Presidenti­al Spokespers­on Harry Roque and Special Assistant to the President Christophe­r “Bong” Go.

Can those personalit­ies win a nationwide election propped up solely by PDP-Laban’s advantage in logistics and the President’s support? If the administra­tion puts up a lightweigh­t slate, even its army of trolls could not make them win. That is why I think that lineup would change once reality bites. Surveys by the Social Weather Stations and Pulse Asia, plus those commission­ed privately will guide the party’s choice.

The President may have gotten the most number of votes in the 2016 elections but those weren’t the majority. He won because those that didn’t like him split their votes in support of the candidacie­s of Mar Roxas, Grace Poe, Jejomar Binay and Miriam Defensor-Santiago. We don’t know where those voters will gravitate to in the senatorial race. But if we use past senatorial polls as gauge, they will mostly gravitate to old names.

In past senatorial jousts, the reelection­ists carried the slates put up by political parties. I think most of the senators who ran higher posts in 2016 would be up for reelection, like Grace Poe and Antonio Trillanes IV. Senators first elected in 2013 would also be up for reelection like JV Ejercito, Nancy Binay, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino, etc. I think PDP-Laban will eventually include some of them in its slate.

Of the eight that Alvarez named, only Pimentel is an incumbent and it would be interestin­g to find out if he is eligible to run for reelection. Note that when he assumed his post in 2011 it was for winning the 2007 senatorial race. When he ran for senator in 2016 he was basically a reelection­ist already. Can he run for a third term?

As for the other names, the more noticeable would be Bong Go and Roque being the ones closely identified with the President. But that could also be their undoing. If they decide to go all the way and run, their candidacie­s would test the translatab­ility of the President’s popularity to votes. Or wouldn’t the President’s critics be ganging on them?

Article 172 of the Revised Penal Code punishes individual­s who commit falsificat­ion of ay public or official document or letter of exchange or any other kind of commercial document while Article 171 (4) punishes any public officer, employee or notary who, taking advantage of his or her official position, will make untruthful statements in a narration of facts.

Atty. Francisco Villarojo Jr. is charged with falsificat­ion under Article 172 in relation to Article 171 (4) for allegedly notarizing forged public documents that were used to sell a property in Barangay Calamba, Cebu City in 2014

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