LP officially nominates Mar Roxas as standard-bearer

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The ruling Liberal Party on Wednesday, September 30, officially nominated Manuel Roxas II as its standard-bearer for the 2016 national elections.

During the LP's National Executive Council (NECO) meeting, 3 re-electionists and one returning senator were also formally included in the party's senatorial slate for 2016.

Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senator Teofisto Guingona III, Senator Ralph Recto, and former senator Francis Pangilinan are the first 4 official senatorial candidates of the ruling party.

The NECO, which is composed of the party's top officials, has also authorized Roxas to pick his running mate and complete the rest of the party's senatorial lineup. Roxas will be tasked to sign the certificates of nomination for the 8 other Senate bets and his VP candidate.

Camarines Sur Third District Representative Maria Leonor "Leni" Robredo has been offered the vice presidential slot, but has yet to make a final decision. The LP seemingly has no other option, as party officials have only mentioned the neophyte lawmaker as their candidate for the second highest elective post in the country. (READ: Leni Robredo is Mar's VP – Drilon)

The LP is set to announce its complete slate on October 5, Monday at Club Filipino. (READ: Back to Club Filipino: For LP, it's Leni Robredo for VP)

The LP earlier held island congresses for the National Capital Region, Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, to select its delegates for the National Directorate which in turn accepts nominations made by the NECO.

Three resolutions, copies of which were handed out during the Wednesday meeting, were formalized as well. The first resolution allowed the LP’s standard-bearer to select its senatorial slate, the second allowed the standard-bearer to pick the vice presidential bet, while the third and last resolution formally selected Roxas as the LP’s official candidate for president in 2016.

Non-LP members in Senate line-up?

The confirmed senatorial bets interviewed by media refused to speculate on who else would be part of the party's Senate slate but said it’s “possible” for non-LP members to be included.

Guingona said the party’s leadership was still weighing options with regards to its Senate slate since “maraming gustong pumasok (many want to be part of it).”

Aside from the 4 re-electionists, the LP is expected to pick former energy secretary Jericho Petilla as one of its Senate bets. Roxas had earlier said Petilla’s possible inclusion in the LP Senate slate was at a “comfortable level.”

Petilla, former governor of Leyte, attended the NECO meeting but was not nominated. “'Yung inclusion sa Senate, napagusapan nang konti, in passing. At sinasabi niya maghanda na daw ako. Sabi ko, 'Saan?' Sabi niya, 'Alam mo na,'” Petilla told reporters when asked if he has discussed a Senate run with Roxas.

(When it comes to my inclusion in the Senate slate, Roxas and I have spoken about it a little but in passing. He told me to get ready. I said, 'For what?' He said, 'You know what I’m talking about.')

Aside from Petilla, at least 3 other Cabinet members are seeking a Senate seat: outgoing Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority chief Joel Villanueva, and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino.

“By Monday, everything will be complete. Be patient. By Monday, you will have an entire list,” Recto told reporters in a chance interview after the NECO meeting. – Rappler.com