Padilla taps Panelo as legislative adviser
CATHERINE S. VALENTE
The Manila Times
SENATORIAL poll count frontrunner Robin Padilla on Friday announced that former chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo will serve as his legislative adviser and mentor. Padilla, a popular action star, ranks first in the ongoing senatorial race based on an unofficial count conducted by the Commission on Elections and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting. No candidate for any national position has been officially proclaimed as the winner. The actor-turned-politician maintained his lead among his fellow Senate bets with 26,454,562 votes as of 10:17 a.m. Friday. Panelo, who was presidential legal counsel of President Duterte, was also a candidate for senator and is far away from the so-called Magic 12. Padilla, in a statement posted on social media, said that he needs Panelo’s legal expertise in his push for federalism and charter change. “Kailangan ko ng pambato sa usapin ng batas pagdating sa Senado. Ang pagpapalit ng saligang batas ay hindi magiging madali sapagkat ang babanggain nito ay ang kasalukuyang naghaharing mga oligarko nakakubli sa 1987 Constitution (I need someone who knows the laws when I sit in the Senate. Such push for a change in the Constitution isn’t going to be easy because we are going to face those reigning oligarchs who are hiding behind the 1987 Constitution),” Padilla said in his Facebook post. “Walang mababago sa aming adhikaing pagbabago. Walang makakapigil sa rebolusyon. Si Salvador Panelo ang aking legislative consultant, adviser mentor (Nothing will change in our advocacy for change. No one can stop us. Salvador Panelo will be my legislative consultant, adviser and mentor),” Padilla said. Panelo will, however, be constitutionally barred from getting appointed to any government post. The Constitution provides in Article 9 (B), Section 6 that “no candidate who has lost in any election, shall within one year after election, be appointed to any office in the government or any government-owned or -controlled corporation or in any of its subsidiaries.” Padilla, a candidate of PDP-Laban, is also part of the Senate slate of the UniTeam Alliance of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Vice President-elect Sara Duterte-Carpio. He ran on promises of pursuing anticriminality measures and support for the crackdown on illegal drugs, federalism, and a push to legislate community policing, among others.