by Fel V. Maragay, Joyce Pangco Pañares and Rudy Brul
THE Nacionalista Party presented nine senatorial candidates for the 2010 polls in a proclamation rally in Tondo, Manila, yesterday, reserving two seats for leftist groups until talks for an alliance are concluded.
The 12th slot remains a mystery, according to former Cavite Rep. Gilbert Remulla, the NP spokesman, saying standard-bearer Senator Manuel Villar would decide before the Dec. 1 deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy.
Villar and Senator Loren Legarda of the Nationalist People’s Coalition were proclaimed as the party’s presidential and vice presidential candidates, respectively, in the rally in Plaza Moriones.
Villar introduced the senatorial hopefuls that included newcomers former Marine Officer Ramon Mitra, former Labor Undersecretary Susan Ople, lawyer Gwendolyn Pimentel Gana, and detained Marine Col. Ariel Querubin.
Also in the lineup were Senator Pia Cayetano, Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., lawyer Adel Tamano, and guest candidates Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago and Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.
Two of the remaining three slots are being reserved for party-list representatives Satur Ocampo of Bayan Muna and Liza Maza of Gabriela, according to Remulla.
Remulla said he declined his nomination as a senatorial candidate because “I feel I am not yet ready.”
Bayan Muna, Gabriela and Anak-Pawis questioned Marcos’s the entry into the NP’s senatorial team, resenting Marcos’ position that the nation should leave the past behind and stop blaming his parents, the late President Ferdinand Marcos and former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, for the nation’s woes. With Gigi Muñoz David