Duterte endorses 11 senatorial bets for May polls
President Rodrigo Duterte endorsed on Thursday his 11 senatorial bets for the May midterm elections.
Duterte graced the proclamation and kick-off rally of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), his political party, in San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
He raised the hands of PDP-Laban members Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, former Philippine National Police and Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald dela Rosa, his former close aide Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, former presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino and Maguindanao Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu.
PDP-Laban guest candidates include reelectionist Senators Cynthia Villar, Edgardo "Sonny" Angara and JV Ejercito, Taguig City Rep. Pia Cayetano, and Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos.
In an ambush interview after the proclamation rally, Duterte said he also supports the candidacy of singer Freddie Aguilar.
He said those he endorsed in the PDP-Laban rally are the only candidates he is supporting.
Former Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who is facing plunder charges and whom he initially endorsed prior to campaign period, was not among those whom Duterte is backing, like ex-Senator Ramon ''Bong'' Revilla, who was acquitted of plunder by the Sandiganbayan.
Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio's Hugpong ng Pagbabago has been supporting Estrada's senatorial bid.
Duterte said he has no quarrel with his daughter. However, he said, "We cannot agree on all the personalities there (in HNP)."
HNP has been endorsing the candidacy of 13 senatorial aspirants even if only 12 slots are at stake in the May polls.
Senator and boxing champion Manny Pacquiao was also present being the PDP-Laban's campaign manager. Celerina Monte/DMS