WHILE there have been reports that former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd is having a hard time finding a running mate, the Liberal Party (LP) on the other hand is experiencing the opposite. In fact, the ruling party has more than what it needs to fill up its senatorial lineup, according to Senate President Franklin Drilon, vice chair of the LP.
Drilon disclosed on Thursday that there are 15 candidates for Senator the party will choose from and they expect to finalize the lineup before the end of September.
“We have a timeline and we have to finish it (lineup) next week (September 30). We want to present to the people best senatorial line up,” he said.
Senators Ralph Recto, Teofisto Guingona 3rd and Drilon are three incumbent LP senators who are still eligible to run for re-election and are surely included in the LP senatorial list.
Former senator Francis Pangilinan, also a member of LP, is likely to be included along with other members of President Benigno Aquino 3rd’s cabinet like Justice Secretary Leila De Lima and Technical Education and Skills Authority (TESDA) chairman Joel Villanueva.
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino, who has been a subject of criticism by Metro Manila residents for his failure to address the worsening traffic congestion, is also reportedly eyeing a senate seat.
“In my view the senatorial line up must be completed by next week, there should be no more postponement,” Drilon added.
It is not however clear if LP would be able to present its candidate for Vice President next week, considering that the choices is limited between Senator Alan Peter Cayetano of the Nationalista Party (NP) and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.
Roxas already asked Robredo to be his running mate but the latter is still contemplating on whether to accept the offer of not.
Robredo has expressed unwillingness to run for vice presidency, but admitted being open to running for a seat in the Senate.
If Robredo turns down Roxas’ offer, the LP standard bearer will be left with Cayetano, who admitted in an earlier interview that he is willing to be Roxas’ running mate.
Cayetano is willing to be Roxas’ VP even if his party mate Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th already declared his intention to run for VP next year.