ILOCOS Norte Gov. Imee Marcos and Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano will likely lead rival slates in 2019 senatorial elections, according to a senator who will also seek reelection that year.
Sen. Cynthia Villar, member of the Nacionalista Party and wife of former senator Manny Villar, said the Marcoses and Cayetanos plan to lead major coalitions leading to the two major elections – the 2019 mid-term polls and the 2022 national elections.
It will be a rematch of sorts for the Marcoses and Cayetanos. Former senators Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Alan Peter Cayetano, now Foreign Affairs secretary, clashed during the 2016 vice presidential race.
But the two lost to Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo. Marcos is pursuing an election protest against Robredo.
Imee and Pia are older sisters to Ferdinand Jr. and Alan Peter, respectively. Imee was representative of the second district of Ilocos Norte before becoming governor of the province in 2010. She is on her third and last term.
Pia, who was senator from 2004 to 2016, now represents the second district of Taguig.
Asked which group she would join, Villar said she would remain a member of the Nacionalista Party, which was taken over by her husband Manny following the death of the party stalwart, former vice president Salvador Laurel, in 2004.
Aside from the Nacionalista Party, two more parties are emerging as major forces in the coming elections, namely the erstwhile ruling Liberal Party led by Sen. Franklin Drilon and the administration PDP-Laban Party led by Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd.
On September 3, Drilon said the Liberal Party Senate slate would be led by Sen. Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino 4th and former Quezon representative Erin Tañada.
The PDP-Laban slate will likely be led by Pimentel, Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority Chairman Martin Diño and former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino.
Other incumbent senators who will seek reelection in 2019 are Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito and Grace Poe.