Alvarez: Bong Go in PDP-Laban Senate slate

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Five months ahead of the filing of candidacies for the 2019 senatorial elections, PDP-Laban secretary-general and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said top presidential aide Bong Go will be part of their slate for the mid-term elections. 

Speaking before the oath-taking of new party members in Caloocan City, Alvarez said Go and Maguindanao 2nd District Representative Zajid Mangudadatu will be part of their line-up.

Alvarez also mentioned re-electionist Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, Oriental Mindoro 2nd District Representative Reynaldo Umali, Presidential Adviser Francis Tolentino, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Bataan 1st District Representative Geraldine Roman, and Davao City 1st District Representative Karlo Nograles as part of the slate during the Caloocan event. 

Pimentel, who is party president, had earlier said that Negros Occidental 3rd District Representative Albee Benitez and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas will also be part of the slate.  

Umali, Tolentino, Roque, Roman, Nograles and even Benitez have accompanied Alvarez in different trips around the country, primarily to lead the oath-taking of new party members. Go, party auditor, was supposed to join a recent oath-taking in Bulacan but did not show up.  

Sought for comment on Alvarez' announcement, Pimentel told media: "Depends on Bong Go but he has a slot." 

Why it matters: The mid-term elections are crucial for any party.

PDP-Laban chairman Rodrigo Duterte won by a landslide during the 2016 presidential elections – a momentum his allies and partymates surely want to carry over to the 2019 elections. 

The party currently dominates Philippine politics – a PDP-Laban led supermajority dominates the House of Representatives, while most senators are allied with the majority. – Rappler.com