LP Senate slate still incomplete; Bautista, Villar drop senatorial bid

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Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista and Las Piñas Rep. Mark Villar bow out of Senate race. Both say they will seek re-election in 2016.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Liberal Party’s (LP) announcement of its final senatorial ticket has been delayed, twice. Officials said the party was still in the process of finalizing its senatorial lineup.

A few days ago, Chairman Francis Tolentino of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) volunteered to be dropped from LP senatorial lineup, following the controversial dance performance of young women at an LP event in Laguna last week.

This time, Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista is no longer running for Senate, after he was reportedly included in the the party's final senatorial slate.

House Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Sonny Belmonte Jr., LP co-vice chairman, confirmed in a text message to CNN Philippines Digital on Friday (October 9) that Bautista would team up with his daughter, Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte, for the 2016 elections.

According to Belmonte, Bautista decided to run for mayor for his third and last term.

Aside from Bautista, Rep. Mark Villar of the lone district of Las Piñas will also no longer run for a Senate seat.

During an event in Laguna where LP and Nacionalista Party (NP) local members finalized their alliance, Villar said he intendsed to seek reelection.

Villar was with LP standard bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II at the oath taking of new NP members in Laguna.

Villar, who started releasing political advertisements on TV months ago, said he consulted his family about the decision he made just a few days ago.

Although he was happy with his survey ratings, the son of Sen. Cynthia Villar and former Senate President Manuel Villar said he wanted to do more for Las Piñas.

Villar also said he would want to focus on his family as his wife just gave birth two weeks ago.

With Villar bowing out of the race, NP mebers are discussing if they will field another senatorial bet next year.

Villanueva, De Lima in LP slate

Secretary Joel Villanueva of Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), who recently announced his senatorial bid, was also at the Laguna oath taking ceremony.

He confirmed that he would be joining the administration's senatorial ticket despite his earlier admission of discomfort at being on the same slate as Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

Previously, Villanueva said he believed that LP members wanted him out of the slate.

But with him on the LP slate, Villanueva said he would not leave the side of President Benigno Aquino III. According to Villanueva, he was also open to being a shared candidate on the slate of other presidential bets.

De Lima is also now officially part of the LP Senate slate after taking her oath before Senate President Franklin Drilon, LP's presidential bet Manuel "Mar" Roxas II and vice presidential bet Rep. Leni Robredo.

She was part of this batch of new recruits who were sworn in at the LP headquarters on Friday (October 9).

CNN Philippines' Ina Andolong contributed to this report.