Drilon, source jump gun on De Lima's senatorial bid

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Senate President Franklin Drilon (L) said a number of Cabinet secretaries are expected to run for the Senate or a local post next year. This includes Justice Secretary Leila de Lima (R).

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Senate President Franklin Drilon jumps the gun on Justice Secretary Leila de Lima's plans to run for public office come May 2016 after announcing that she was expected to resign soon in time for the filing of candidacy in October.

Drilon, who is vice chairman of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), told reporters on Wednesday (June 17) that there will be major changes in the Cabinet soon — because a number of the secretaries were intending to run for public office in the coming general elections.

"Some are running for the Senate. The others I think are going back to their local posts," Drilon said.

Drilon named six Cabinet members — which included De Lima.

The other five were Energy Secretary Jericho Petilla, Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II, Chairman Francis Tolentino of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and Secretary General Joel Villanueva of the Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (Tesda) and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.

This developed after De Lima told the media at the House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 16) that she had yet to decide on throwing her hat in the political ring.

Initially, she intimated that she had no plans for 2016. This was in response to a report by Christine Herrera of The Standard that an accused Chinese crime lord gave P100 million for LP's campaign kitty — including De Lima's.

"Siguro yung nasa likod niyan naniniwala na siguro tatakbo ako," De Lima said.

[Those behind these allegations perhaps think that I will run.]

However, she quickly changed gears and said, "Hindi pa ako nagde-decide."

[I have not decided yet.]

Reliable source confirms De Lima's senatorial bid

In an exclusive interview, an insider of De Lima's campaign group told CNN Philippines on Wednesday that the Justice secretary was indeed intent on joining the LP's senatorial slate next year.

"She had met with us and she said she was excited to run for the Senate," the source said.

The source also cited that a Facebook account has been created to promote De Lima, "Teamleila De Lima."

The source also said that Team Leila was also set to formally have a group launch by July —complete with a spokesperson.

CNN Philippines' Anna Estanislao contributed to this report.