House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday said that Rep. Alfredo Abelardo Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3 rd District) remains on the list of senatorial bets of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino–Lakas ng Bayan for 2019.
Alvarez made the clarification after announcing the names of 8 of 12 PDP senatorial bets at the mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members in Caloocan City Tuesday, which did not include the name of Benitez.
Alvarez reportedly was profuse in apologizing, saying he unintentionally forgot to mention the name of Benitez.
Benitez, who has yet to decide if he will run for senator in 2019, yesterday said he was informed of the Speaker’s clarification.
Benitez, however, has not ruled out running for governor of Negros Occidental.
The eight Senate bets named by Alvarez were Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu (Maguindanao, 2 nd District), Rep. Reynaldo Umali (Oriental Mindoro, 2 nd District), presidential adviser on politics Francis Tolentino, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Rep. Geraldine Roman (Bataan, 1 st District), Rep. Karlo Nograles (Davao, 1 stDistrict), Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go.
However, Alvarez said performance in the surveys of the candidates will be an important guide for the administration in finalizing the senatorial slate.
“That’s important because we want our candidates to win. Also, we’d like to know if they are really serious in pursuing their candidacy for the Senate,” Alvarez was quoted in a press statement released by the House of Representatives.
He said PDP needs new senators to support the legislative agenda of the Duterte administration in the Senate.
“We (in the House) have passed a lot of bills but many are still pending in the Senate,” Alvarez noted.
The press statement also said Alvarez just forgot to mention Benitez’s name in the Senate line-up.*CPG
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