The local Nationalist People Coalition, headed by reelectionist Gov. Daisy Avance Fuentes, said the party chapter decided to support a mix of senatorial candidates, majority of which belonged to the Genuine Opposition.
The list of Fuentes, who was being challenged by virtual unknowns, said that her list was composed of eight GO, three Team Unity and one independent, candidates.
Among the GO candidates, Fuentes said they would support Loren Legarda, Manuel Villar, Panfilo Lacson, Benigno Aquino III, Francis Escudero, Allan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes and Sonia Roco.
Fuentes said they should have been supporting Gregorio Honasan instead of Trillanes if the former senator, who was allowed to campaign after posting bail, had stood by the soldiers still languishing in jail.
Fuentes urged her constituents who will not vote Roco to include lawyer Coco Pimentel, “since he is a Mindanaoan”.
For TU, Fuentes endorsed the candidacies of Miguel Zubiri, another Mindanaoan, Edgardo Angara and Joker Arroyo.
The independent candidate Fuentes said they would support was Francis Pangilinan, husband of movie actress Sharon Cuneta.
Fuentes’ list virtually contradicted national media reports that she was supporting TU candidates. The report quoted one Ray Roquero, Lakas executive director, as saying that Fuentes committed support to administration-backed senatorial bets.
South Cotabato, along with General Santos City, has been a known opposition bailiwick, with a voting population of not less than 700,000.
In the other province of North Cotabato, seven senatorial candidates from Genuine Opposition, Three from Team Unity and two independent candidates made it to the top 12 in the mock senatorial election conducted by the Students Supreme Government Council (SSGC) of the Notre Dame of Kidapawan College (NDKC).
One hundred fifty college students and 35 faculty members participated in the mock senatorial elections held at the NDKC student center on May 8.
Genuine Opposition senatorial candidate Chiz Escudero occupied the number one slot with total 167 votes. Fellow GO bets, Senate president Manny Villar and former senator Loren Legarda with 153 and 152 votes settled in the second and third slots respectively.
Independent candidate Kiko Pangilinan with 149 votes settled at the number four slot.
In number five to twelve slots include senator Panfilo Lacson (GO) with 146 votes; Noynoy Aquino (GO), 134 votes; Allan Peter Cayetano (GO), 115 votes; Gringo Honasan (Ind), 108 votes; senator Ralph Recto (TU), 100 votes; Antonio Trillanes (GO), 99 votes; Migz Zubiri (TU), 97 votes and senator Joker Arroyo (TU), 84 votes respectively.
The Student Supreme Government Council (SSGC) said it conducted the mock election “in order to determine the popularity of the senatorial candidates among NDKC college students including the faculty members”.
SSGC president John Cornello said the mock election was also “an attempt to determine the awareness of the qualified student voters that would participate in the May 14 mid-term elections”.