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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

CITY SAN JOSE DEL MONTE, Bulacan – President Rodrigo Duterte still can’t believe that former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Francis Tolentino lost in the 2016 senatorial elections.

In his speech during the kick-off rally of the ruling administration party, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino – Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) in Bulacan, Duterte said he still could not figure out why Tolentino didn’t make it in the so-called Magic 12 during the 2016 polls.

“Ako sa totoo lang hindi ako makapaniwalang natalo ‘tong taong to,” said Duterte.

Duterte stressed that nothing more deserve a seat in the Senate than the former mayor Tagaytay City.

“Wala kayong marinig na ginawang kalokohan ‘yan. Hindi nga tumataas ang boses niyan. Tahimik. Trabahante,” sais Duterte.

Tolentino who previously served as Duterte’ s chief political adviser is one of the five official candidates of the ruling party. The former MMDA chair is also one of the 13 guest candidates of Mayor Sara Duterte’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party.

In 2016, Tolentino asked the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET) to nullify 1.3 million votes alleged to have padded former Justice Sec. Leila de Lima’s lead over him to take the last spot in the 2016 senatorial race.

Tolentino last Monday in San Fernando City, Pampanga said the alleged irregularities during the 2016 national elections prevented him from securing a seat in the upper chamber.

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