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Laglag! Alvarez’ Senate bets fail to enter ‘Magic 12’

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by: Xave Gregorio

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’ Senate bets, which include Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque and Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson, have a slim chance of winning in the 2019 elections, a survey shows.

In fact, only two of eight of Alvarez’ Senate bets were among the top 32 personalities listed in an SWS pre-election survey reported by Rappler and DZRH.

Only Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino were in the top 32, but did not enter the “Magic 12”.

Tolentino, the former Metro Manila Development Authority chair who ran for Senate under the Liberal Party in 2016 until he was forced to run as an independent after he allegedly hired sexy dancers to an official event, only ranked 24th.

Meanwhile, Aguirre ranked lower – at number 30.

Other Alvarez-endorsed candidates, namely, Roque, Uson, Bataan 1st District Rep. Geraldine Roman, Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles and Negros Occidental Rep. Albee Benitez were all absent from the top 32 of the survey.

Alvarez, PDP-Laban’s secretary general, was also nowhere to be found in the poll.

He has nixed the suggestion of some administration senators, including Senator JV Ejercito, to have guest candidates for the ruling party’s 2019 Senate lineup, saying only candidates from Senator Cynthia Villar’s Nacionalista Party may be included in the slate.

As for others, Alvarez said they would either have to run as an independent bet or join PDP-Laban.

However, only Senate President Koko Pimentel and Davao Mayor Sara Duterte are the official PDP-Laban members in the Magic 12.

Ejercito, on the other hand, is still a member of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, but has secured the blessing of his father and party leader former President Joseph Estrada to jump to the ruling party if necessary.

Other administration senators gunning for re-election, namely Senators Grace Poe, Nancy Binay and Sonny Angara are not officially affiliated with PDP-Laban.

The survey was conducted from December 8-17 but is not published on the official website of the SWS.

SWS refused to comment to Politiko on the survey as they did not publish it on their website and social media accounts, which may indicate that the poll was privately commissioned.