By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
PDP-Laban secretary-general, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, formally endorsed Negros Occidental third district Rep. Alfredo Benitez, along with Bataan first district Rep. Geraldine Roman, for senatorial runs in 2019.
“If you support President Rodrigo Duterte, this coming 2019 election, you should support the PDP-Laban, including Senator Benitez,” the speaker declared during his address at the University of Negros Occidental-Recoletos (UNO-R). “Give us 12-0 in the Senate.”
In response, Benitez said he is still formulating a platform before announcing a run.
“There should be an advocacy that is acceptable to the people,” he explained. “Not that we will just run for the sake of running.”
The speaker also threw some barbs at the Senate, calling them “the slow house.”
“We have forwarded 110 bills to the Senate as of the beginning of Congress,” said Alvarez. “Those approved by the Senate have not even reached ten.”
He credited the sluggish process as his reasoning behind endorsing Benitez and Roman.
“Since it’s your last term anyway, you can transfer to the Senate in order to get things going there,” the speaker claimed.
Meanwhile, Bacolod City Mayor Evelio Leonardia said his local political coalition, Grupo Progreso, will go “all out” for Benitez.
Last month, Benitez said he does not intend to pursue the governorship as he would prefer not to run against Love Negros partymate, incumbent Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, who previously expressed an interest in the position./WDJ