Team Binay eyes Pacquiao, Isko Moreno in senatorial ticket

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(CNN Philippines) — Who will make up the senatorial roster of Vice President Jejomar Binay's United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) in the coming 2016 elections?

A political insider, who requested not to be named, gave CNN Philippines a peek at the initial list of 14 names being considered by the opposition party in the 2016 senatorial race.

They are:

  • Saranggani Rep. Manny Pacquiao
  • Sen. Vicente Sotto III
  • Buhay Partylist Rep. Lito Atienza
  • Valenzuela City Rep. Sherwin Gatchalian
  • Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez
  • Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado-Revilla
  • Former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri
  • Former Sen. Richard Gordon
  • Public Attorney's Office chief Persida Acosta
  • Parañaque Councilor Alma Moreno
  • Election lawyer Romulo Macalintal
  • Journalist Rey Langit
  • TV and radio host Cory Quirino
  • Manila Vice Mayor Isko Moreno

Toby Tiangco, UNA interim president, confirmed that Gatchalian, Romualdez, and Atienza were among those who have already confirmed their plans to run under UNA.

He added that UNA has reserved a special slot for Pacquiao in the 12-man senatorial roster, although the international boxing champion is yet to make up his mind whether or not he will join the senatorial derby.

"May naka-reserve kaming isang slot for Congressman Manny. Siya na bahala kung tatanggapin niya o hindi," said Tiangco.

[Translation: "We have reserved one slot for Congressman Manny. It's up to him if he will accept this or not."]

Aside from Pacquiao, also being considered for the party's line-up are Mercado-Revilla, Gordon, and Zubiri. 

"Pinag-iisipan pa nila kung tatakbo sila," Tiangco said.

[Translation: "They are still deciding whether to run or not."]

In the case of Sotto, Tiangco said the Senate minority floor leader wants to run under UNA but may change his mind if Sen. Grace Poe decides to run for president.

Sotto was one of the campaign managers of the late Fernando Poe Jr. in the 2004 presidential elections. Tiangco, meanwhile, said that UNA would field two "surprise and unexpected" senatorial candidates, probably from the entertainment industry.