By Leslie Ann Aquino and Martin Sadongdong
The 12 winning senators in the May 13, 2019 midterm elections were finally proclaimed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday, nine days after Election Day.
At least 51 winning party-list groups were also proclaimed.
Re-electionist Senator Cynthia Villar topped the senatorial race with 25,283,727 votes.
“I am very thankful for this opportunity to continue serving our people as a senator. Makakaasa po ang ating mga kababayan na sulit ang tiwala na binigay nila sa akin (Our countrymen can expect that the trust they gave to her is worth it),” Villar said in a statement as she vowed to continue her advocacy for agriculture and livelihood after getting a fresh six-year term.
Also in the “Magic 12” are: (2) Sen. Grace Poe, 22,029,788 votes; (3) former presidential aide Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, 20,657,702 votes; (4) Rep. Pia Cayetano, 19,789,019 votes; (5) ex-police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa, 19,004,225 votes; (6) re-electionist Sen. Sonny Angara, 18,161,862 votes; (7) former senator Lito Lapid, 16,965,464; (8) Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos, 15,882,628 votes; (9) former presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino, 15,510,026; (10) Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, 14,668,665; (11) former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla; and (12) Sen. Nancy Binay, 14,504,936.
The 12 winning senators will serve for six years from June 30, 2019, to June 30, 2025.
Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas led the proclamation of the winning senators.
Support for Duterte
Poe said she wants to chair the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee in the 18th Congress, while Go and Tolentino have expressed full support to whatever measures President Duterte wants to pass.
“Ako po susuportahan ko po si Pangulong Duterte (I will support the President),” said Go who was the former Special Assistant to the President.
“Kilala ko si Pangulong Duterte. The past 21 years, wala po siyang inutos sa akin na mali (I know the President. In the past 21 years, he never gave me an order that was wrong),” he assured.
“Nagkataon na pareho ang advocacies namin (It just so happens that our advocacies are the same),” Tolentino said
Topping the party-list election was the Anti-Crime and Terrorism Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS), backed by Special Envoy to China Ramon Tulfo.
The ACT-CIS was guaranteed the maximum three seats after it surpassed the minimum requirement of at least two percent of total votes cast for party-list groups as mandated by the law. A total of 61 seats are intended for party-list representatives in the Lower House.
The ACT-CIS nominees are Eric Yap; Jocelyn Tulfo, wife of radio personality Raffy Tulfo; and Rowena Nina Taduran.
Opposition Bayan Muna Partylist ranked second and also secured three seats. Its nominees are Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate, Ferdinand Gatte, and Eufemia Cullamat.
The other winning party-list groups are Ako Bicol, Citizen’s Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC), Ang Probinsyano, 1Pacman, Marino, and Probinsyano Ako. All secured two seats each.
Guaranteed one seat each are Senior Citizens, Magsasaka, Apec, Gabriela, An Waray, Coop-Natcco; ACT Teachers, Philreca, Ako Bisaya, Tingog Sinirangan, Abono, Buhay, Duterte Youth, Kalinga, PBA, Alona, Recoboda, BH Bagong Henerasyon, Bahay, CWS, Abang Linkod, A Teacher, BHW, Sagip, TUCP, Magdalo,
GP, Manila Teachers, RAM, Anakalusugan, Ako Padayon, AAMBIS-OWA, Kusug Tausug, Dumper PTDA, TGP, Patrol, Amin, Agap, LPGMA, OFW Family, Kabayan, Diwa, and Kabataan. (With reports from Vanne P. Terrazola and Jeffrey G. Damicog)