The Commission on Elections (Comelec) declared the winners of the recently concluded 2019 midterm elections on Wednesday, May 22, at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
Topping the list is incumbent Senator Cynthia Villar from the Nacionalista Party (NP) who was endorsed by the administration’s Hugpong ng Pagbabago party (HNP). Villar garnered a total of 25,283,727 votes.
Following Villar is another re-electionist Grace Poe, who ran as an independent candidate and still managed to garner a total of 22,029,788 votes.
Third on the list is former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher “Bong” Go, who got 20,657,702 votes as he ran under the ruling party Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Another HNP-endorsed newly-elected senator is former Taguig City Representative Pia Cayetano, who got 19,789,019 votes.
Trailing behind Cayetano is former Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa who got 19,004,225 votes, under PDP-Laban. He was followed by HNP-endorsed re-electionist Sonny Angara, who finished sixth with 18,161,862 votes.
Seventh on the list is actor Lito Lapid who clinched a Senate seat with 16,965,464 votes, followed by former Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, another HNP candidate with 15,882,628 votes.
Former presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino who was also a PDP-Laban candidate garnered 15,510,026 votes, while re-electionist Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III trailed behind him with 14,668,665 votes.
Securing the eleventh spot is HNP-backed Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. with 14,624,445 votes, while re-electionist Nancy Binay completed the so-called Magic 12 after garnering 14,504,936 votes.
Sitting outside the winning circle are re-electionists JV Ejercito and Bam Aquino, with 14,313,727 votes, and 14,114,923 votes, respectively.
No member of the opposition slate — Otso Diretso — made it to the top 12 as majority or nine out of 12 of the newly-elected senators were endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte. As such, political analysts assessed that it will be helpful for policy continuity but questionable in terms of checks and balances in the country.
“The election was widely seen as a test of Duterte’s popularity and as an opportunity for him to consolidate power by gaining control of the Senate, which had proved an obstacle to his policy plans in the first three years of his presidency,” Fitch Solutions said in a commentary.
“The strong show of support for Duterte will both give him the confidence and ability to push ahead with his reform programme,” they added as reported by The Philippine Star.
Other senatorial bets concede defeat
Senatorial candidates Romulo Macalintal, Florin Hilbay, Erin Tanada, Jiggy Manicad and Leody de Guzman thanked their supporters as they accepted their defeat in the recent midterm elections.
Macalintal thanked his family, Vice President Leni Robredo, and his supporters. He also expressed gratitude to senior citizens.
Meanwhile, Hilbay recognized that “the will of the people is supreme, so we respect the results of the elections.” He congratulated the winners as he wished that they “may serve the country well.”
“To all our HILBAYanihan volunteers: You all did whatever it took, and whatever you could. I am sorry that our resources did not match your brilliance, your heart, and your hope,” Hilbay added as reported by Rappler.
On one hand, Otso Diretso be Tañada said that he “would like to concede and congratulate all those who won the elections.”
Manicad also expressed gratitude in a Facebook live video post. He mentioned those who volunteered during his campaign.
“Gusto ko pong magpasalamat sa inyong lahat. Alam niyo po, ang mahigit anim na milyong boto ay malaki at alam ko po ang hirap din ng mga volunteers. Maraming salamat po sa inyong sakripisyo (I want to thank everyone. You know, 6 million votes isn’t a small feat. I recognize the hard work of the volunteers),” Manicad said.
Labor Win candidate de Guzman emphasized the advantage of the campaign despite failing to secure a spot in the Senate seat.
“Hindi tayo pinalad na makapasok sa winning Circle pero pumasok naman tayo sa puso ng mga kabataang estudyante at organisadong seksyon ng mga manggagawa (We were not fortunate to be in the winning circle, but we were able to get through the hearts of young students and organized labor),” de Guzman said.