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Stance on federalism, survey ratings key for inclusion in PDP-Laban's senatorial slate —Alvarez

By ERWIN COLCOL,GMA News

Stance on federalism and survey ratings are two primary considerations for inclusion in the PDP-Laban senatorial lineup for next year's midterm elections, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Tuesday.

"Basically, [stand on] federalism, because 'yun 'yung advocacy ng PDP," Alvarez, PDP-Laban's secretary general, told reporters after attending the mass oath-taking of new party members in Caloocan City.

When asked if survey rating is also a consideration, Alvarez said: "Siyempre, kasi kung hindi ka naman mag-rate sa survey, puwedeng parang suicide 'yun."

During the mass oath-taking, Alvarez reintroduced PDP-Laban's potential senatorial slate for the 2019 elections, among them Maguindanao Representative Sajid Mangudadatu, Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali, and presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino.

Also included in the lineup are presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, Special Assistant to the President Secretary Bong Go, Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman, Davao City Representative Karlo Nograles, and Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III.

In the interview, he also named Negros Occidental Representative Alfred Benitez, and Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson as being considered to be part of the senatorial lineup that he only forgot to mention in the mass oath-taking event.

In an ambush interview after the event, Alvarez said the performance in the surveys on candidates is important to see if they have the capacity to win.

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"Malaking consideration 'yun kasi gusto naman natin na manalo ang ating mga kandidato," he said.

"Titignan natin kung sino sa kanila ang talagang magre-rate at 'yung seryoso talaga na kakandidato," he added.

Alvarez reiterated, however, that his announcement of potential candidates in a mass event cannot be considered premature campaigning.

"Walang premature campaigning. Hindi pa nagpa-file ng certificate of candidacy, hindi ba?" he said.

"Once na mag-file ka ng certificate of candidacy mo, 'yun, papasok na 'yung premature campaigning, kasi governed ka na ngayon ng election laws," Alvarez added. —KBK, GMA News