MANILA – Davao Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte, who has been a possible presidential aspirant, now has a “dream team” composed of eight senatorial candidates deliberated through a meeting with his close political advisers and allies.
Included in Duterte’s “dream team” were former Senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Serge Osmeña and Miguel Zubiri, Sarangani Representative Manny Pacquiao, Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez, ACT-CIS Representative Samuel Pagdilao and Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno, according to former North Cotabato Governor Emmanuel Piñol who was one of the tough-talking mayor’s allies.
Supposedly, also included in the senatorial lineup were Las Piñas Representative Mark Villar and Pasig Representative Roman Romulo. The two, however, were reportedly not interested in seeking higher office in the coming national elections.
Taking into account Zubiri and Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel’s past rift, Duterte would first get the latter’s approval to include the former senator in their political party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s (PDP-Laban) list of senatorial candidates.
Duterte’s camp will present a ‘lean’ Senate slate because of the PDP-Laban’s financial limitations as they had ‘no money to give to those who will be running for the Senate.’
“They (senatorial candidates) will have to finance their own campaigns. But they will gain a lot of votes from Duterte’s die-hard supporters,” Piñol said.
Moreover, the former governor also disclosed that Duterte has been expected to officially announce his presidential candidacy anytime soon, possibly over the weekend.