Administration allies have dominated the second day of the filing of certificates of candidacy (CoC) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) with outgoing Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Chief Ronald de la Rosa of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) filing his CoC for senator while President Rodrigo Duterte’s son Paolo “Pulong” Duterte seeking a seat in the House of Representatives.
De la Rosa is the second official senatorial candidate of the PDP after party president Sen. Aquilino Pimentel III made official his candidacy last Thursday.
Davao City’s First District which the young Duterte is targeting is currently occupied by Karlo Nograles who recently called off a plan to run for senator in the 2019 mid-term elections.
Duterte was accompanied by his lawyers and sister, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.
Sara is scheduled to file her CoC for re-election on 16 October, a day before the deadline set by the Comelec.
“This has been agreed upon by members of the family,” Duterte said, even as his father said early Friday morning he has not talked to his son “for the longest time.”
He confirmed the President’s statement but said the Chief Executive is aware of his political plans.
Duterte, meanwhile, said he does not mind having any opponent.
Good fight welcome
“We are in a democracy so it’s really okay for me if anyone wishes to challenge my bid. Let us campaign and allow the people choose the person who they think could serve them best,” he said.
Duterte quit as Davao City vice mayor last December following a public spat with his daughter and allegations mainly from Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV of his involvement in the P6.4-billion shabu shipment from China that slipped past port inspections in May last year.
De la Rosa vowed to push maintaining peace and order in the country in his quest for a slot in the Senate. Likewise, he will also push the restoration of the death penalty for offenders of drug trafficking and heinous crimes such as murder and rape.
“I really wanted to serve. I am too young to retire,” said the 56-year-old BuCor chief. “I still have a lot of services to offer to the people.”
De la Rosa also disclosed that he will not receive any financial support from the President.
“He will support me by his endorsement alone, but no financial support,” De la Rosa said.
Sen. Nancy Binay also filed with the Comelec her bid for another Senate term. Binay said she chose to file on a Friday as it has a sentimental value for her since she also filed her CoC on the same day in 2013.
Binay added she will pursue her advocacy for the development of the local tourism industry.
“I chair the (Senate) Committee on Tourism and I saw that there’s a lot needed to be done to help the tourism industry,” Binay said. She noted that problems in tourism sites in the country stemmed from the lack of a tourism master plan.
Binay will be running under the United Nationalist Alliance, founded by her father, former Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Binay was mum over the supposed feud between Junjun and another sibling, incumbent Makati City Mayor Abby Binay. She said they will wait for their father to address the issue.
Reports said Junjun will contest his sister Abby for the Makati City mayoral post.
“We will talk about it…our family has been through worse, we’ve survived…it will pass,” said Binay, who has consistently ranked in the top five of various surveys among probable senatorial candidates.
Binay said her father is currently out of the country and may be back this weekend.
Meanwhile, Sen. Chiz Escudero, who is a graduating senator, was accompanied by his wife actress Heart Evangelista and his runningmate Mayor Manuel Fortes of Barcelona town in filing his CoC at the Comelec Provincial Office in Sorsogon.
While he filed his CoC as an independent, Escudero was adopted by his original party – the National People’s Coalition.
In a TV interview, Institute for Political and Economic Reform executive director Ramon Casiple said the administration needed a “consolidation of power” to allow the President to push his key programs such as the Federalism bid.
“The key point in this election is to consolidate the power so that for the rest of term of the administration in office, there will not be much challenge,” Casiple said.
He added for the Duterte administration to succeed in its agenda, the ruling party – PDP-Laban – should be able to field a full 12-man Senate ticket, but it has yet to announce its full senatorial slate even as the filing of the CoC began Thursday.
“If you want to consolidate power, especially in the Congress level, you need to have that one slate and in fact this is difficult, you have to win them all,” he added.
With Raymart T. Lolo and Elmer N. Manuel