A mix of veterans and stars led by eight-division world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao compose the senatorial ticket of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) for next year’s elections.
Reelectionist Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd—the frontrunner in pre-election senatorial preference surveys—will lead the 12-man line-up that includes former senators Panfilo Lacson, Richard Gordon and Juan Miguel Zubiri and Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez.
Pacquiao, an incumbent congressional representative of Sarangani, meanwhile, leads the stars in the ticket, which include former actress and now Parañaque City (Metro Manila) Councilor Alma Moreno and radio announcer Rey Langit.
Among the new faces drafted by UNA are former Philippine National Police-Special Action Force commander Getulio Napeñas; Jacel Kiram, a member of the royal family of the Sultanate of Sulu; labor lawyer Allan Montaño; and former Labor undersecretary Susan “Toots” Ople.
Navotas City (Metro Manila) Rep. Tobias Tiangco, the party president who made the announcement in a statement issued on Monday, said “the composition of UNA’s senatorial line-up is illustrated by each candidate’s personal advocacies and the legislative agenda their respective organizations would advance in the Senate.”
“All are one in the objective of the party under the leadership of Vice President Jejomar Binay to improve the lives of the Filipino people anchored in programs and initiatives that will provide solutions to unemployment, low wages and rising prices of goods,” Tiangco added.
“They share the same vision with Vice President Binay of a pro-poor and reform-oriented legislative agenda that would advance a responsible and transparent governance, create more job opportunities for the Filipino workforce; address our [countrymen’s] need for responsive health, education and other social services, uphold the rights and welfare of women and children, persons with disabilities and OFWs [overseas Filipino workers]; improve peace and order, fast-track the delivery of government services, be energy-independent by 2020 and attract more investments,” he said.
The UNA slate is led by Vice President Jejomar Binay and Sen. Gregorio Honasan, who are running for President and Vice President, respectively.
Grace to unveil ticket
THE tandem of Senators Grace Poe and Francis Escudero is set to announce its senatorial slate this coming Thursday, October 29, and all candidates are expected to be present in the event.
This was confirmed also on Monday by Escudero during an interview with the members of the Senate media and, according to him, the senatorial candidates were personally chosen by Poe herself.
“We decided to do it on Thursday because it is the most convenient date wherein most of the candidates will be able to attend the event,” Escudero said.
He denied earlier news report enumerating the names of their tandem’s senatorial ticket, saying they only completed the list just recently.
“The names that came out earlier are not yet final. In fact, the list has no basis because we only completed the line-up just a few days ago,” Escudero said.
He admitted that most of the candidates included in their slate were personally chosen by Poe.
Escudero said Poe was the one making the decisions not only on the senatorial line-up but also on other major matters.
“From the very start, it was always her decision, contrary to the claims that somebody is making the decisions for her. I only give my opinion when I am asked,” he added.
When asked if he could give some names included in their ticket, Escudero said it would be better if Poe will be the one to give the names on Thursday.
Poe and Escudero already endorsed the senatorial bids of party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares and lawyer Lorna Kapunan.
A reliable source from the Poe-Escudero camp disclosed that Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno and Valenzuela City (Metro Manila) Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian will also be included in the line-up along with incumbent Senators Vicente Sotto 3rd and Ralph Recto.
A source of The Manila Times said Poe has also invited Susan Ople to join its ticket as a guest candidate.
Ople, daughter of the late senator Blas Ople, is an advocate for migrant Filipino workers’ rights and welfare.