By Vanne Elaine Terrazola
Senate President Vicente Sotto III said his party, the National Peoples’ Coalition (NPC), was already preparing its own slate of senatorial candidates for the May, 2019 elections.
Sotto, in a series of text message to reporters Wednesday, said the NPC will soon release its line-up for the senatorial race in the 2019 polls.
He said the party was considering 15 personalities at present, including reelectionist Senators Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Joseph Victor Ejercito and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.
The NPC shortlist, he said, may also include Taguig City Representative Pia Cayetano, Bureau of Corrections chief General Ronald dela Rosa, and Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go.
Former lawmakers Lito Lapid and Jinggoy Estrada were also being considered.
Sotto refused to divulge the identity of four remaining possible candidates, saying he not authorized to names them. Some of the mentioned names, he added, may decide not to run for a Senate seat.
Sotto clarified that the NPC leadership is still finalizing their list. “The lineup I mentioned will still be finalized. Those names are the current names our party are considering…Talks are ongoing,” he said.
The candidates mentioned by Sotto also made it in the shorlist of the ruling Partido Demokratiko ng Pilipinas-Lakas ng Bayan’s (PDP-Laban) possible senatorial slate in the 2019 elections.
Pimentel, PDP-Laban president, earlier, wrote to President Duterte to review the shortlist of 24 names.
Sotto, on the other hand, said the NPC will remain an “independent third force” despite being in alliance with the Duterte administration.