Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte now has eight senatorial candidates in his line-up and is planning to announce his decision regarding his presidential candidacy this coming week-end, Former Governor of North Cotabato Manny Piñol said.
Piñol added that during a meeting with friends and adviser on the night of October 6, Duterte said he would only support those who believe in his advocacies against crime, corruption and drugs and his efforts to bring to the peace table the rebel groups who have been fighting government for decades.
Representative Manny Pacquiao, Senator Serge Osmeña and former Senator Panfilo Lacson are on the top of Duterte’s senatorial list. Also included are Leyte Congressman Martin Romualdez, Party List Congressman Samuel Pagdilao, Las Piñas Congressman Mark Villar, Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and former Senator Miguel Zubiri. These individuals are running either as independent or under a party and will be included in Duterte’s line up as guest candidates.
However, Piñol said the Mayor will still refer Zubiri’s inclusion to PDP-Laban head Senator Aquilino Pimentel III. While on other reports, Las Piñas Congressman Mark Villar has decided not to run for senate.
“It is better to field just eight candidates with four of them having real chances of winning than having 12 with only two of them winning,” said one of Duterte’s advisers as quoted by Piñol. “We have no money to give to those who are running for the Senate. They will have to finance their own campaign. But they will gain a lot of votes from Duterte’s die-hard supporters.”
Senators Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Alan Peter Cayetano, both joining the vice-presidential race, have committed support to Duterte and want to run as the mayor’s running mate.