CLARK FREEPORT -- What has long been rumored might, in fact, be reality.
This, as PDP-Laban Central Luzon Chairman Tito Mendiola said last Friday during the forum of the Capampangan in Media Inc., (CAMI) here, that Pampanga Fourth District Representative Juan Pablo Bondoc will most probably be the party's official candidate in the 2019 gubernatorial race.
"At this point, that appears to be the likely scenario," he said, noting that Bondoc has already been sworn in as member of the party. Bondoc used to be under the Nationalist Party Coalition (NPC).
Mendiola, former mayor of Floridablanca town and a former executive of the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth), also said that former first district Congressman Joseller Guiao, former party-list representative Juan Miguel Arroyo of the second district and incumbent third district Representative Aurelio "Dong" Gonzales, Jr., will be the party's standard bearers for the congressional posts.
Guiao lost to Congressman JonJon Lazatin while Gonzales defeated former Congressman Oscar S. Rodriguez in last year's polls. Mikey's term under the party list expired last year.
Mendiola, a former street parliamentarian and activist, did not reveal who among the local officials have transferred to PDP-LABAN as most of them are under the local Kambilan party of Governor Lilia G. Pineda.
Mendiola said the party is now drawing up a political map in Central Luzon and Pampanga to determine their strategy and candidates in the 2019 local and national elections.
He said there are 7,000 political and non-political members in the province.
He said that Bondoc might not run for governor if former President and Congressman Gloria Macapagal Arroyo will be his rival for the post.
"She is his godmother and that could be the biggest factor," he said.
But, Mendiola has expressed his doubts about Mrs. Arroyo's running for governor. He did not elaborate.
PDP-Laban is the party of President Rodrigo Duterte.
"Our party advocates democratic socialism and equal opportunities for every Filipino," he said.
The party, he added, is pushing for federalism, although he admitted that the party is divided on what kind of federalism they will adopt.
"We have yet to agree on what type of federalism we will support," he said. (NCS)