By Argyll Cyrus Geducos
President Duterte has chosen former Interior Secretary Raffy Alunan as the 12th candidate to complete his senatorial lineup for the upcoming May 2019 midterm polls.
This was confirmed as Alunan attended PDP-Laban’s campaign in Biñan, Laguna Saturday. He is PDP-Laban’s seventh guest candidate.
“Malaking karangalan (It’s a huge honor) to be part of the President’s team for May 2019,” he told the crowd.
In his speech during the event, Duterte described Alunan as the brightest among all of the Cabinet members of former President Fidel Ramos.
“Wala ka na makitang pinaka-bright sa panahon ni Ramos (You won’t find anyone who is brighter during the time of Ramos). He was the brightest doon sa (there among the) Cabinet members and he knows best what he is doing because he was once upon a time the DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government) Secretary,” he said.
“Thinking ito. ‘Pag kinakausap mo (He uses his head. When you talk to him), he’s a thinking guy,” he added.
Alunan, now on his second attempt for a Senate seat, is running under the Bagumbayan party of Senator Richard Gordon.
PDP-Laban’s senatorial bets are Maguindanao Representative Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go, Senator Koko Pimentel, and former Political Adviser Francis Tolentino.
PDP-Laban’s guest candidates are Alunan; reelectionists senators Cynthia Villar, Sonny Angara, and JV Ejercito; Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos; Taguig Representative Pia Cayetano; and singer Freddie Aguilar.
President Duterte has always had a high regard for the former Interior Secretary. Duterte had mentioned in several of his speeches that he is adopting the so-called “Alunan Doctrine” as it is good for the country.
The Alunan Doctrine limits the number of armed guards for politicians. It was introduced when Alunan served as Interior secretary during the presidency of Fidel Ramos.
No ‘useless people’
President Duterte renewed his appeal to the public to choose the candidates who can make a change for the country and not those who are just talking but are really useless.
Duterte added that voting for useless people in the Senate is a mortal sin.
“Alam mo sa totoo lang, mortal sin ‘yan sa inyo. Nandito, dinala ko na nga sa harapan ninyo ang mga tao. Totoo lang. Hindi ko ito iharap kung sabihin mo na may… (In truth, it’s a mortal sin for you. Here, I brought people in front of you. I will not campaign for them if there is something wrong with them),” he said.
He also laid down some of the landmark measures that he has signed into law as a challenge to his detractors who continue to criticize his administration.
In his speech during the PDP-Laban’s campaign rally in Biñan, Laguna Saturday evening, Duterte said that he is not like his critics who are all talk, yet are doing nothing to address the issues.
“Wala namang ginawa kung yawyaw. Basta maka-yawyaw lang. May masabi lang sa issue para hindi makalimutan (They are all talk. They say anything against me just to keep themselves relevant),” he said.
Duterte claimed that the crime rate is down by 47 percent under his watch.
The President also defended the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law, saying this is funding the other laws that he signed such as the Free Tertiary Education Act and the Universal Health Care Law. Both laws have been pending since the previous Congress.
Duterte then said that he is working on his promise to increase the salary of teachers. He also mentioned that solving the traffic gridlock in EDSA is the only promise he can’t seem to fulfill.