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Liberal Party picks four official Senate bets


The ruling Liberal Party (LP) on Wednesday, September 30, formally included four party members in its senatorial slate for the 2016 national elections.

The first four official senatorial candidates of LP are Senate President Franklin Drilon, Senator Ralph Recto, Senator Teofisto Guingona III, former Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.

The nominations of the four were approved by LP chairman and President Benigno Aquino III during the LP’s National Executive Council (NECO) meeting at the Balay headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City.

NECO, composed of party’s top officials, has authorized LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas to select other candidates who will complete the LP senatorial slate.

Roxas was given full discretion whether to pick someone within the party or adopt from other political party.

The former Interior Secretary was also formally authorized by his party mates to choose his own running mate.

Roxas is expected to announce his running mate and his full senatorial slate on Monday, October 5.

Former Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, who is rumored eyeing a slot in the LP senatorial ticket, attended the party convention.

Aside from Petilla, other Cabinet members eyeing LP slots are Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Metro Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority chief Joel Villanueva. All three did not attend the event.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, who will supposedly seek local elective post, was spotted at the convention.

Other Cabinet members present were Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and daughter Presidential Management Staff Julia Abad, Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) commissioner Kim Henares, and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya, who is also the acting president of LP.

During the convention, NECO also approved a resolution granting full authority to LP president to appoint officers and political organs and units of the party.

Among the 425 members of both NECO and LP National Directorate, 358 were present during the convention.

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