Founder of pro-Duterte group joins Senate race
MANILA, Philippines — One of the founders of the Citizen National Guard, a group that supports President Rodrigo Duterte, will be running for senator in the May 2019 elections.
Antonio “Butch” Valdes filed his certificate of candidacy at the Commission on Elections main office Thursday.
The former Department of Education undersecretary established the CNG last year, seeking to defend the country, protect the people and support the chief executive.
The pro-Duterte group aims to protect the government from its perceived enemies, namely: ISIS-inspired terrorism, Communist Party of the Philippines and its armed wing New People’s Army, drug cartels, seditious political oppositions labeled as “Yellowtards” and foreign intelligence agencies generating international support for regime change.
Valdes is one of the candidates of the Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilpino, a new political party.
Joining him are former Sulu vice governor Nur-Ana Sahidulla and Vince Avena. KDP’s other candidate, lawyer Larry Gadon, is expected to file his COC on Friday.
Twenty-seven senatorial hopefuls have formalized their Senate bids on the first day of certificate of candidacy filing.
Among those were Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, former Rep. Neri Colmenares (Bayan Muna), Maranao leader Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, cardiologist Willie Ong, folk musician Freddie Aguilar and former Manila councilor Danilo Roleda.
Individuals, who claimed without proof to be former lovers of former Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson and multimedia personality Kris Aquino, also took their chance at winning Senate seats.
The COC filing for the 2019 midterm elections is slated from October 11 to 17. Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said voluntary withdrawal of candidacy will be accepted from October 18 to November 29. — Gaea Katreena Cabico with reports from Patricia Lourdes Viray