PDP meets anew with DU30

Arm-in-arm Partido Demokratiko Pilipino officials and members (from left) former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Francis Tolentino, Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez, former Senate President Koko Pimentel, former Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Energy Secretary Al Cusi and Kat Yu lock arms in yesterday’s meeting. Analy Labor

The ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) is set to meet President Rodrigo Duterte anew today to firm up the party’s senatorial lineup for the mid-term polls next year and possibly iron out kinks in the organization’s leadership.

“We have a meeting tomorrow supposed to be. I will raise what should be the best system to follow to reduce the number of names,” PDP president Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III said.

He added the 24 names on the shortlist submitted to the President were down to 22 which is expected to be further reduced at the meeting.

“But actually from 24, we’re down to 22. Slowly. I will not say who were removed since both have indicated that they are not interested in running,” he said.

“I will not force them to change their decision,” he added.

Pimentel said the party will take guidance from the President on the final lineup.

On the earlier shortlist are Pimentel; Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go; former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino; Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez; Davao City Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles; Maguindanao Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu; Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman; Makati City Rep. Monsour del Rosario; singer Freddie Aguilar; former news anchor Jiggy Manicad and Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo “Dax” Cua.

The list also has “friends” of the party such as Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte; Bureau of Corrections Chief Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa; actor Robin Padilla; former Sen. Lito Lapid; former Secretary Rafael Alunan; columnist Ramon Tulfo; presidential spokesman Harry Roque and Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano.

Incumbents among picks

Five reelectionist senators in the Senate majority – Senators Cynthia Villar, Juan Edgardo Angara, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Grace Poe and Nancy Binay —were also part of the list.

“By tomorrow, let us say we are getting guidance from the President as chairman of the party on the procedure to follow on how to reduce the list,” he said.

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