Ping joins senatorial race

The ruling Liberal Party (LP) is now in the finishing touches of drafting its senatorial bets to be announced on Friday at the ruling party headquarters in Balay, Cubao, Quezon City. Despite objection from some quarters within the LP, former Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson has been drafted in its senatorial line-up as guest candidate.

Lacson is being opposed by some LP stalwarts because of his critical stand against some policies of the Aquino administration. His inclusion to the LP senatorial line-up was sealed Tuesday night. It happened after a closed door meeting with LP standard bearer Mar Roxas II and Senate President Franklin Drilon.

Meanwhile, Quezon City Rep. Winston Castelo disclosed that sure slots were given to Senators Drilon, Ralph Recto, former Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva, and former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla.

Among the aspiring candidates who are still under evaluation are: Quezon City Mayor Herbert “Bistek” Bautista; Philhealth Director and former Akbayan Party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros; Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) general manager and chief operating officer Mark Lapid; Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Kim Henares, and Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno.

On the other hand, Las Pinas Rep. Mark Villar has dropped his ambition to join his mother, Senator Cynthia Villar in the Senate in the next Congress.

Villar, son of former Senete President Manny Villar, may not join the race after his mother, Sen. Cynthia Villar has opposed the idea of following the footsteps of Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and former Sen. Loi Ejercito who served the Senate in the same Congress.