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Will Duterte pitch for own senatorial bets in Nueva Ecija?

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By Prince Golez

President Rodrigo Duterte may ramp up his campaign for his personal Senate slate today as the 90-day national campaign for national candidates began on Tuesday.

Malacanang said in an advisory that Duterte will attend the inauguration of Moscati Meadows Residential Treatment Facilities in Nueva Ecija later this afternoon.

Ten senatorial candidates have so far won the endorsement of the President who was catapulted to power in 2016 with over 16 million votes.

They are former aide Christopher Go, former Philippine National Police Ronald dela Rosa, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chief Francis Tolentino, and Maguindanao Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu.

Duterte also named Senators Juan Edgardo Angara, Joseph Victor Ejercito, and Cynthia Villar; Rep. Pia Cayetano; Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos; former Senators Jinggoy Estrada; and folk singer Freddie Aguilar as his preferred candidates.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo earlier said Duterte will also endorse candidates supported by his political party, Partido-Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan and his daughter’s regional party, Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

“So regardless of who among them wins, okay pa rin sa kanya ‘yun. Sinasabi lang niya sa mga tao na, ‘Oh, eto, okay lahat ito. Bahala kayo kung sino gusto niyo. Kahit sino sa kanila, pwede sa akin’. I don’t think merong ano doon — and I think, even the candidates would want that,” Panelo said.

According to the January 23 to 26, 2019 Social Weather Stations survey, five of Duterte’s senatorial bets – Villar (2nd), Cayetano (3rd), Go and Angara (5th and 6th); and Estrada (12th) – landed on the “Magic 12.”

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