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Pengeng time! Opposition postpones announcement of final 2019 Senate slate

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By Xave Gregorio

The opposition coalition failed to finalize its 2019 senatorial lineup in time for its announcement on Tuesday (October 9), driving them to postpone it to a later date.

Liberal Party President Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan said in a text message Monday (October 8) that they “needed more time to finalize [the] lineup.”

“Given the deadline is still on the 17th, we decided to move the launch to a later date,” Pangilinan said.

He added that the opposition’s bets would be filing their candidacies separately from October 11 to 17 at the Commission on Elections office in Intramuros, Manila.

Meanwhile, ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) has decided not to hold an event for the announcement of their senatorial lineup for the May 2019 polls.

“Walang ceremony. Allergic ako diyan,” said PDP-Laban President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III in a text message.

PDP-Laban’s bets would also be filing their candidacies on their own.

The opposition coalition, composed of LP, Magdalo, Akbayan Citizens’ Party, Aksyon Demokratiko and Tindig Pilipinas, would be fielding Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, former Quezon 4th District Rep. Lorenzo Tañada III, De La Salle University – College of Law founding Dean Jose Manuel Diokno and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal for senator.

They initially drafted an 18-name list of possible senatorial candidates, but of them, former Chief Justice Hilario Davide Jr., ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno, actors Dingdong Dantes and Agot Isidro have declined to run.

Meanwhile, PDP-Laban’s Senate slate so far includes Pimentel, Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go, Reps. Zajid Mangudadatu, Monsour del Rosario, Dakila Cua and Karlo Nograles, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, and presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino.

However, Nograles has decided to drop his Senate bid, while President Rodrigo Duterte is swaying Roque to drop his bid as well.