MANILA, Philippines — The Hugpong ng Pagbabago senatorial slate, composed of 13 candidates, is only a guide for voters, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte said Wednesday.
The Duterte-led coalition endorsed 13 candidates but there are only 12 Senate seats in the upcoming midterm elections
“Binibigay na namin sa mga tao, sa mga individual voters, kung sino ‘yung 12 na pipiliin nila sa 13 candidates na tinutulungan ng Hugpong ng Pagbabago (We are giving the choice to the people, to the individual voters, to choose 12 among the 13 candidates that Hugpong ng Pagbabago is helping),” Duterte told reporters.
The Davao City mayor said she will pick her 12 senators based on track record, their platform and their support for the Duterte administration.
The 13-member slate is composed of Senate reelectionists and returnees Sonny Angara, Pia Cayetano, JV Ejercito, Jinggoy Estrada, Koko Pimentel, Bong Revilla and Cynthia Villar.
New names in the lineup are former Philippine National Police director Ronald dela Rosa, former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, Rep. Zajid Mangudadatu (Maguindanao), former reporter Jiggy Manicad and former MMDA chair Francis Tolentino.
The Commission on Elections, meanwhile, appealed to the voters to only vote for 12 senatorial candidates in the upcoming elections.
“I understand it could be a campaign strategy or just good old-fashioned trolling, but don’t tell people to vote for more candidates than required,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez earlier said on Twitter.
Voters can choose from zero to 12 senatorial candidates and zero up to one party-list group, he added.
Excess votes for the position will be considered stray and will not be counted while all other positions that were not overvoted will be counted by the vote counting machines.
Meanwhile, Filipino netizens have posted in facebook the meaning of “Hugpong” which means “Pagnanakaw/kurapsyon” in the Filipino language.
Meaning of “graft”:
- A detached shoot grafted to another plant; hugpong.
- Taking money wrongfully in connection with government business: nakawan sa gubyerno.
READ: BONG GO’S 2018 net worth is only 12 million while he already spent Php420 million in his senate campaign as of January 30, 2019.