MANILA (Mabuhay) – The decisions of Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino to back out of the Liberal Party’s list of possible senatorial candidates have prompted the ruling party to postpone its proclamation of Senate hopefuls scheduled on Friday.
Bautista is running for re-election while Tolentino indicated that he would still run for senator even if outside the administration slate.
“Nag-backout si Bistek pero before siya ang nag-offer to run for senator,” Caloocan City Rep. Edgar Erice, LP chairman for political affair, told reporters after the oath-taking of new LP members in the party’s Balay headquarters in Cubao, Quezon City.
LP standard-bearer Mar Roxas said he met with party chairman President Benigno Aquino III on Thursday night to discuss who would replace Tolentino in the slate.
“Hindi mahirap in the sense na marami naman. Ang punto ay ito ba ay isang tao na pwede nating itaya ang ating pangalan at credibilidad,” Roxas said when asked if it was difficult to look for a replacement for Tolentino.
In a statement on Thursday night, the LP said the Bautista asked for more time to decide whether to accept the party’s senatorial draft. It added that Tolentino’s withdrawal from the LP slate was a factor in the postponement of the proclamation from Friday to Monday.
“We believe this additional time for discernment is in the best interest of the parties and candidates concerned,” the LP said.
Roxas said the administration’s senatorial slate would have six or at the most, seven LP members. The other five slots will be allotted for coalition partners.
Roxas said the party would respect Bautista’s decision.
“Kung pamilya ang dahilan ay mabigat yan dahil of course, mahirap sumabak sa isang laban kung hindi buo o hindi nagkakaisa ang pamilya…Alam naman natin na meron pa siyang isang term so kung ano man ang kanyang mapagpasya ay rerespetuhin natin,” Roxas said.
Bautista said that he had decided to run for reelection after consulting with members of his family and other advisers.
“After a process of consultations with constituents, barangay leaders, NGO-PO’s, a spiritual adviser and family we came to finally opt to re-elect as QC Mayor,” he said.
Bautista admitted that he presented to Aquino last year the idea of running for the Senate.
“I had an audience with the President last December. I intimated that if I could be drafted as part of the Senatorial ticket of LP. He replied that you will be considered,” Bautista said.
“I thank the President, Sec Roxas, Speaker Belmonte and the leadership of the Liberal Party for having considered me to be part of the 2016 Senatorial ticket,” he added.
Bautista said the Quezon City chapter of the LP would support the party’s top bets Roxas, vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo and the members of the senatorial ticket.(MNS)