By Xave Gregorio
Members of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) are pushing to include both Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos and opposition Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV in the list of politikos they would be backing for the 2019 polls.
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, senior party adviser, told reporters Thursday (August 23) that the daughter of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the nephew of former President Cory Aquino, who was installed after Marcos was deposed in 1986, may run under the same slate backed by NPC.
“There are members who would like to include Governor Imee in the lineup and there are members who would like to include Senator Bam in the lineup,” Sotto said.
The two members of warring political clans may also find themselves on the same stage, as Sotto said politkos part of the NPC Senate slate may be invited to their local campaign sorties.
However, their inclusion in the NPC’s lineup yet final, as party members have yet to agree on who they would back.
Sotto earlier said Bam, the cousin of NPC founder Danding Cojuanco, may be included in their party’s senatorial lineup.
Imee and Bam have recently traded barbs over the issue of “moving on” from the atrocities of the late dictator Marcos’ regime.
Governor Marcos, insisted that “millennials have moved on” from her father’s brutal martial rule and urged Filipinos to follow suit. She also said the “conflict between the Marcoses and the Aquinoses happened a long time ago.”
But Senator Aquino said there could be no moving on from the atrocities committed during the two-decade regime of former President Marcos, especially since his family are yet to apologize over human rights abuses and billions of dollars of ill-gotten wealth.
Sotto has also said that the NPC may also back the Senate bids of half-siblings Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito and former Senator Jinggoy Estrada, who have been at odds with each other for several years.
The Senate President told reporters in a Viber message Wednesday (August 22) that the NPC mulls putting up its own senatorial slate for the 2019 elections.
Those who would be endorsed by the NPC would also enjoy the backing of local politikos in the party’s bailiwicks, Sotto said.
Aside from Imee, Bam, Ejercito and Estrada, the NPC’s slate may include Senators Grace Poe, Cynthia Villar, Nancy Binay, Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel IV, Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano, former Senator Lito Lapid, Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go.