THE Office of Negros Occidental Third District Representative Alfredo Benitez clarified yesterday that the lawmaker is still on the list of the senatorial line-up ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) for the 2019 elections.

It said that House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has already clarified that Benitez is still part of the senatorial slate of the administration party and that he just forgot to mention his name when he was interviewed by the media and gave some names of those included in the list.

Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson also said yesterday that Alvarez may just forget to mention the name of Benitez.

"It's possible that Alvarez forgot to mention his name as most of us sometimes also forget, so maybe Speaker Alvarez have forgotten only to mention Albee's (Benitez) name,” Lacson said.

The vice governor said Benitez has a good chance of winning for senator. "It's difficult to run in the national position because it entails huge expenses. He should be the one to decide based on his chances of winning,” Lacson pointed out.

When asked about his talk with Benitez over the weekend, Lacson said they arrived at nothing because the congressman is not yet definite about his future political plans.

"I will just base my decision on whatever decision he will make," Lacson said.

He reiterated his earlier statement that he and Benitez have already agreed they will not clash with each other in the 2019 elections.

Alvarez announced the senatorial candidates of the ruling party during the mass oathtaking of new PDP-Laban members in Caloocan City Monday.

Among the senatorial bets he mentioned are Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Francis Tolentino, Oriental Mindoro Representative Reynaldo Umali, Maguindanao Representative Zajid Mangudadatu, Bataan Representative Geraldine Roman, Davao Representative Karlo Nograles, presidential spokesperson Harry Roque and Special Assistant to the President Bong Go. (TDE/SunStar Bacolod)