By Camille A. Aguinaldo, Reporter
SENATOR EMMANUEL D. Pacquiao is the new campaign manager of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban), Senator Aquilino L. Pimentel III said on Tuesday.
“PDP-Laban national campaign manager is Sen Manny Pacquiao to be ably assisted by (Energy Secretary Alfonso G.) Al Cusi and the national campaign group… Whether to adopt or not other candidates for (the senatorial slate) shall also be decided by the national campaign team,” Mr. Pimentel, who is also PDP-Laban president, said in a text message to reporters.
Mr. Pimentel said Mr. Pacquiao is tasked to formulate the campaign strategy and tactics for the political party in the 2019 midterm elections.
Aside from Mr. Pimentel, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence T. Go, presidential political adviser Francis N. Tolentino, Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald M. Dela Rosa, and Maguindanao Rep. Zajid G. Mangudadatu have filed their senatorial candidacies under PDP-Laban.
On issues hounding his reelection bid, Mr. Pimentel maintained that his running again for senator is legal, contrary to the position of lawyer Ferdinand S. Topacio who filed a disqualification case against him.
In a statement on Tuesday, the senator said his lawyers are ready to answer Mr. Topacio’s petition and ask for its summary dismissal.
“The Constitution, the law, and jurisprudence are on my side. Well-regarded legal minds known for their expertise in election law have likewise chimed in; they agree with my position: I can run for reelection,” he said.
Back in 2011, Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri resigned from his post amid the poll protest case filed against him by Mr. Pimentel regarding the results of the 2007 senatorial race. Mr. Pimentel assumed the vacated post and continued Mr. Zubiri’s unfinished term.
Under the Constitution, senators are only allowed to hold two consecutive six-year terms. After serving Mr. Zubiri’s unfinished term, Mr. Pimentel was elected senator in 2013 and his term is set to expire in 2019.