Robredo-Pangilinan tandem bares senatorial slate, 12th spot up for grabs

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, October 15) — The tandem of Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan on Friday released their senatorial line-up which included incumbent or former lawmakers, lawyers, and a veteran politician who faced corruption investigations.

The tandem, which hails themselves as the "true opposition," will field 11 candidates for now, including six guest bets. They are coming from at least seven different political parties, with only three belonging from the Liberal Party.

It includes former Senator Sonny Trillanes, Senator Risa Hontiveros, detained Senator Leila de Lima, human rights defender Chel Diokno, former Baguio Rep. Teddy Baguilat, and lawyer Alex Lacson — who dropped his plan to run for vice president to prevent splitting the votes with Pangilinan.

Their tandem will also endorse guest candidates namely reelectionist Senators Richard Gordon, Migz Zubiri, and Joel Villanueva, Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero, and former Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The five are also part of the initial senatorial slate of the Ping Lacson-Tito Sotto and Manny Pacquiao-Lito Atienza tandems.

Senator Franklin Drilon, a Liberal Party stalwart, said they have asked the guest candidates not to endorse a particular tandem.

As the 12th spot remains vacant, Robredo said progressive leaders Neri Colmenares of Bayan Muna and Sonny Matula of Federation of Free Workers' Sonny Matula are among those being considered for the one remaining slot in their senatorial slate.

"Ang number 12 wala pa. Gusto sana namin someone who will best represent the marginalized sectors," she said in a media briefing.

[Translation: We don't have a 12th candidate yet. We want it to be someone who can represent the marginalized sector.]

No animosity

Robredo admitted some of the 11 candidates did not see eye-to-eye before, but all of that is in the past now that they are focused on bringing unity and change in the country.

"Merong hindi pagkakasundo sa daang tinahak before. 'Yung kahandaan makipagkaisa, malaking bagay na iyon. Ang sineshare namin ngayon ay ang aspirations sa bansa natin. Iyon ang pinakamahalaga," she said.

[Translation: There have been disagreements before. But the willingness to unite now is a big deal. We share the same aspirations for the country. That is what's important.]

Trillanes was the chairman of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee that held marathon inquiries into the corruption allegations against Binay in 2015 to 2016 for the reportedly overpriced Makati City Hall 2 parking building.