By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
Despite raising his hand last week, former Senator Jinggoy Estrada did not make it to President Duterte’s “Magic 11” for the senatorial race.
The President said there was no particular reason why he is not endorsing Estrada and former Senator Bong Revilla who are part of Hugpong ng Pagbabago’s (HNP’s) senatorial slate. HNP is the political party of presidential daughter Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
“Too late. They gave me the signal too late,” he said.
Duterte said that he was already forming his personal senatorial slate since last year.
“Actually, about almost a year ago I was already forming the ticket. But I just played dumb. Hindi ko naman sinasabi. Ganun man talaga (I was not just saying anything. That’s how things go). You’re not supposed to telegraph your punches,” he said.
Duterte made the clarification during the kick-off of PDP-Laban’s senatorial campaign in Bulacan on Thursday. The party’s slate includes five party members and six guest candidates.
The President clarified that he only mentioned Estrada in an event in Legazpi, Albay last week out of courtesy.
“Nandoon siya eh. Alang-alang naman na hindi ko siya (He was there. I cannot just ignore him if he’s there),” he said.
“Even for just one single day masabihan mo na ang kandidato mo 13 lahat (you include him and make your candidates 13 in total). What is that to a friend? We know that he has suffered. We know that he was in prison,” he said.
Duterte is officially campaigning for Maguindanao Representative Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, Senator Koko Pimentel, and former Political Adviser Francis Tolentino. They are collectively known as “MABAGO KO TO”.
Meanwhile, PDP-Laban’s guest candidates are re-electionist senators Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, and JV Ejercito; Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos; Taguig Representative Pia Cayetano; and singer Freddie Aguilar.
In his speech ly, Duterte mentioned the qualities of each of his 11 bets. He, however, seemed to have overlooked Aguilar.
“I forgot because you know, nawala siya eh (Freddie went missing). And I think, I was not able to hear the whispers at the back that I have yet to mention his name,” he explained.
Duterte then reiterated that he is campaigning for the singer because he is a nationalist, and that his songs always have a message for Filipinos. #MatalinongBoto2019