LIST: Senatorial wannabes for 2019 elections
FIFTH UPDATE: 7:45 P.M. / 17 October 2018
Originally posted: 11 October 2018
On the last day of certificate of candidacy (COC) filing Wednesday, incumbent and former government officials and legislators as well as an election lawyer and a news broadcaster beat the deadline to formalize their respective bids for a seat at the Senate in next year’s elections.
Manicad’s attempt to become a senator came 23 years after his stint as broadcast journalist.
He said he will run as an independent candidate even as he is also included in the senatorial slate of the Hugpong ng Pagbabago party of presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
If he becomes a senator, Manicad said he would push for measures to lower the prices of petroleum products in the market, and address food shortage and human trafficking in the country.
He also said he would propose a “culture hour” showcasing cultural programs instead of soap operas on television to promote nationalism.
Manicad said his experience in journalism exposed him to the pressing problems of the country.
Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.
Amid trial over the P10-billion pork barrel scam, the detained lawmaker formalized his goal to return to the Senate with his wife, Bacoor City Mayor Lani Mercado-Revilla, and son, Jolo Revilla, filing his COC at the Comelec on Wednesday.
Revilla is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City. He is one of the three senators facing plunder and graft charges for the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) controversy, where government funds were channeled to supposed projects of bogus non-government organizations allegedly set-up by so-called pork barrel scam queen, Janet Lim-Napoles.
Lani, who is vying for reelection as mayor, said her husband might be out of detention by December as they expect the court to come out with a ruling in their favor soon.
She denied that her husband was involved in PDAF scam.
Presidential Adviser Francis Tolentino
Tolentino launches another attempt to win a Senate seat in the 2019 elections.
He ran in the 2016 senatorial race but lost, finishing at number 13.
In next year’s polls, Tolentino will run under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte.
If he wins, Tolentino said he would push for measures to address disaster preparedness, as he lamented the recent landslides in Itogon, Benguet and Naga City, Cebu where many people were killed.
Senator Sonny Angara
Consistently landing in the so-called Magic 12 in pre-election surveys, Angara is seeking a second term at the Senate.
He first won in the 2013 senatorial elections, and will still run for senator under the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP) party.
Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay
After postponing his COC filing for a day, Hilbay finally went to the Comelec on Wednesday to formalize his senatorial run.
Hilbay is part of the senatorial slate of opposition coalition Tindig Pilipinas.
As Solicitor General during the term of President Benigno S. Aquino III, he was part of the legal team that secured the Philippines’ favorable arbitral court ruling on the South China Sea dispute.
Former Senator Sergio Osmeña III
Osmeña is vying for a Senate comeback.
Osmeña, grandson of former Philippine President Sergio Osmeña, served as senator from 1995-2001, 2001-2007, and 2010-2016.
He sought for a reelection but lost in the 2016 polls.
In the September 1 to 7 Pulse Asia survey, Osmeña obtained a voter preference of 29.8 percent and placed 8th and 17th in the ranking, eventually managing to secure a spot in the so-called Magic 12.
Atty. Romulo Macalintal
The veteran election lawyer completed the senatorial slate of the opposition coalition for the 2019 midterm elections.
The 71-year-old senatorial aspirant said he wants to advocate for the welfare of senior citizens in the country, if elected.
“Tatanda at lilipas din ako, ngunit may mga batas ako na iiwanan para sa pagtanda niyo,” he said, seemingly adopting the lyrics of the song “Handog” by Florante.
Macalintal is the lead counsel of Vice President Leni Robredo in the electoral protest filed against her by former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.
Former Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque
Roque finally decided to run for senator. Days before Wednesday, it was not clear whether he would eye a seat in the Senate or the House of Representatives as party-list lawmaker.
Roque said he is competing for senatorial post under the People’s Reform Party (PRP), founded by late Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.
Roque said he refused a certificate of nomination offered by President Rodrigo Duterte’s PDP-Laban, but maintained that he was grateful for the offer to run under the ruling party.
After his loss in the 2016 senatorial race, Alunan will once again try to claim a Senate seat in the elections next year.
Senator Richard Gordon accompanied Alunan at the Comelec, and vouched for the integrity of his friend.
Alunan served as Interior Secretary during the administration of President Fidel V. Ramos, and Tourism Secretary during President Corazon Aquino’s term.
Meanwhile, former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile showed up at Comelec on the last day of filing to re-file his COC. This time, he indicated that he will run for senator under the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) party of former President Joseph Estrada.
On Tuesday, Enrile, through his lawyer, filed his COC and claimed he would launch an independent candidacy.
Morever, the re-filed COC of the 94-year-old politician updated his occupation to “lawyer” after initially misidentifying himself as “businesswoman.”
He also changed his address in his re-filed COC from Makati to his hometown in Aparri, Cagayan.
On the fourth day of COC filing, it seemed like the 70s all over again as an Aquino, a Roxas, a Diokno, a Tañada, and a Marcos launched their formal efforts to become the nation’s senators in next year’s midterm elections.
More familiar names in Philippine politics likewise surfaced on Tuesday, October 16, to file their COCs before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) central office in Intramuros, Manila.
Former Senator Mar Roxas
Roxas was first to file his COC on the fourth day of filing at the Comelec.
The former Interior Secretary is seeking a return to the Senate in next year’s midterm elections under the opposition Liberal Party.
Roxas, who topped the senatorial elections in 2004, had stayed away from politics and the public eye since losing to President Rodrigo Duterte in the 2016 elections.
His experience in the legislature dates back from serving seven years in the House of Representatives and six years in the Senate.
During the term of President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, Roxas took the helm of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) before being appointed to lead the Department of Interior and Local Government to replace former Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, who died in a place crash.
As DOTC chief, Roxas was criticized for his failure to improve the Metro Rail Transit. As DILG chief, Roxas received flak for their response in the aftermath of super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
Senator Bam Aquino
Aquino, cousin of former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino, is seeking a second term at the Senate under the banner of the Liberal Party.
Aquino wants to get reelected as he vowed to push for the suspension of excise tax on fuel under the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (Train) law to help ease the impact of rising prices of goods and services especially on the poor.
Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno
Diokno officially joined the 2019 senatorial race as a candidate of opposition coalition Tindig Pilipinas
Diokno is the son of Commission of Human Rights founding chair and former Senator Jose “Pepe” Diokno.
A human rights lawyer, Diokno said he will push for improvement of the country’s justice system, including promotion of justice for the poor sector of society.
Diokno is the founding dean of De La Salle University College of Law.
Former Quezon Rep. Erin Tañada
Tañada, son of former Senator Wigberto Tañada Sr., has finally thrown his hat in the 2019 midterm elections.
He will run for senator under the Liberal Party and vowed to advocate for the passage into law of the proposed measure on Freedom of Information.
Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos
Marcos, daughter of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, is going national aiming for a seat at the Senate under the Nacionalista Party.
According to Marcos, she will push for lower prices of goods amid the soaring inflation in the country if elected as senator.
In a press briefing after filing her COC at the Comelec, Marcos said she is not worried that the issues against the Marcoses will affect her candidacy.
“Kung worry, wala sana ako rito. Palagay ko may pagbabago na rin ang pag-unawa ng nakalipas (If I worry, I won’t be here. I think there is a change in the understanding of the past), she said.
She also thinks the country is prepared to listen to their “side of the story.”
House Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano
Also running under the Nacionalista Party, Cayetano is eyeing a third term in the Senate.
Cayetano rode a bike from the Rizal Monument in Rizal Park to the Comelec headquarters in Intramuros to file her COC on Tuesday.
She said going to the Comelec through a bike symbolizes three areas she believes are important: transportation, health, and empowerment of women and children.
But Cayetano was quick to defend herself from criticisms on her silence about President Rodrigo Duterte’s rape jokes and other remarks against women.
Instead, she cited laws she supported when she was still senator that included the Reproductive Health Law as well as the proposed 105-day paid maternity leave for female workers.
Cayetano was first elected to the Senate in 2004 and reelected in 2010.
This time, Cayetano said she will be pushing for the improvement of English literacy in the country.
Former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile
The 94-year-old politician said he wants “to join the fun” and so he is gunning for a fifth comeback in the Senate in 2019.
But Enrile was not able to personally appear and file his COC at the Comelec. His lawyer, Joseph Sagandoy, did it for him.
According to Enrile, he may not join big political rallies but would make use of social media like Facebook to do his campaigning.
Enrile was first elected as senator in 1987, and was reelected in 1995, 2004 and 2010.
Enrile served as Senate President under the administrations of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo from 2008 to 2010 and Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III from 2010 to 2013.
Former Sentor Jinggoy Estrada
Estrada is officially competing with half-brother JV Ejercito in the 2019 elections.
Estrada will run under the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) party of his father, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
Estrada said his track record at the Senate will help him win the elections next year.
He believes his being jailed for more than three years on plunder and graft charges for his involvement in the P10-billion pork barrel scam would earn him sympathy votes.
Estrada as well as former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. have been linked to the P10-billion pork barrel scam, where government funds were transferred to bogus non-government organizations allegedly set-up by Janet Lim-Napoles.
Con-com Spokesman Conrado “Ding” Generoso
Generoso, spokesman of the Consultative Committee that was tasked to draft the federal Charter to replace the 1987 Constitution, has joined the fray for a Senate seat in 2019.
He will be a candidate of the Katipuhan ng Kamalayang Kayumanggi political party.
Generoso as well as 11 party mates filed their COCs at the Comelec main office in Intramuros, hoping to clinch seats at the Senate to push for the country’s shift to federalism.
Generoso also said that apart from federalism, they will focus on bringing system change in the nation’s governance.
On Monday, October 15, 2018, the third day COC filing at the Comelec central office in Intramuros, the most trusted presidential aide, a former soldier, and reelectionist senators, including those leading in the Social Weather Stations (SWS) senatorial surveys, were among those who formalized their entry to the 2019 midterm elections.
Senator Cynthia Villar
Villar is seeking a second term as senator under the Nacionalista Party (NP), which was founded by her husband, former Senate President Manny Villar.
As chair of the Senate committees on agriculture and food, and agrarian reform, Villar promised to push for more programs on agriculture and livelihood if reelected.
Villar was accompanied by her husband and their daughter Camille when she filed her COC at the Comelec.
Senator Grace Poe
Poe decided to seek another term in the Senate, and vowed to push for the passage of the rice tarrification bill, which seeks to lift restrictions or quota on rice importations.
Poe, a consistent frontrunner in various pre-election surveys, said she is “offering” herself again to the public by seeking reelection as independent candidate.
“Inaalay ko muli ang aking sarili. Kung ako ay pagkakatiwalaan muli, ito ay isang karangalan at pribilehiyo (I am offering myself again. If they put their trust in me for the second time, it will be an honor and privilege),” she said
Senator JV Ejercito
Amid sibling controversy, Ejercito went on to seek a second term as senator via the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
He recently took his oath as NPC member after he left the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) party of his father, former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada, due to political issues with his half-brother Jinggoy Estrada, who is also running for senator next year.
Maguindanao 2nd District Rep. Zajid “Dong” Mangudadatu
Mangudadatu officially joined the senatorial race in the 2019 elections under the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano
Alejano made his senatorial bid official, filing his COC at Comelec accompanied by Magdalo party mate Senator Antonio Trillanes IV.
The action star is aiming for a Senate comeback under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC).
SAP Christopher “Bong” Go
After months of keeping the public guessing, Go finally declared his senatorial bid.
President Rodrigo Duterte’s trusted aide will run for senator under PDP-Laban.
On the second day of COC filing last October 12, a reelectionist, a former Philippine National Police and Bureau of Corrections chief, and a controversial lawyer officially threw their hats in the senatorial race in the 2019 elections.
Senator Nancy Binay
The daughter of former Vice President Jejomar Binay was the first to file her COC for the May 2019 elections on the second day of filing.
Ms. Binay is running for her second term in the Senate. She will run under the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
The senator said she wants to push for more programs that will improve tourism in the country. She is currently the chair of the Senate Committee on Tourism.
Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa
The former top cop of the country and head of the Bureau of Corrections made his senatorial bid official on Friday.
Dela Rosa, he will focus on maintaining peace and order in the country, including pushing for the revival of the death penalty for offenders of drug trafficking and heinous crimes such as murder and rape, if he succeeds in next year’s elections.
Dela Rosa will run under the banner of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban).
Atty. Larry Gadon
The controversial lawyer behind the impeachment complaint against now ousted Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno is also joining the fray for a seat at the Senate.
Gadon said he will run for Senator under three political parties: Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, Lakas-CMD, and KBP.
According to Gadon, “stupid” senators pushed him to run for Senator.
“Ang dami kasing bobo sa Senado eh, dapat palitan na ‘yan. Unang-una si Trillanes, si Pangilinan, si Hontiveros, you can quote me on that,” he said.
Aspirants to senatorial as well as local executive positions for the 2019 midterm elections have until October 17 to file their COCs.
On the first day of COC filing Thursday, among the early birds at Comelec to formalize their candidacies were a reelectionist, a musician, a former party-list lawmaker, a health advocate, a former Manila councilor, and a first-hand witness to the war in Marawi City.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III
Reelectionist Pimentel is the first to file his COC for the May 2019 polls. Pimentel, president of the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), leads the party’s senatorial candidates.
Pimentel served as Senate President from 2016 until Senator Vicente Sotto III replaced him this year.
Folk song icon Aguilar was one of the early birds to file his COC for senator. He is running under the banner of PDP-Laban.
Aguilar said that he was “convinced by the ordinary people” to run for the Senate. While he admits that he doesn’t have President Rodrigo Duterte’s blessing, Aguilar noted that the President’s trusted aide, Christopher “Bong” Go assured him that he would be supported in his campaign.
He said he has also been pushing for change in the society through his music.
“Dahil sa kagustuhan ko pong tuloy-tuloy ang pagbabago ay tumakbo na rin po para tumulong sa bayan natin,” he told reporters.
(Because of my wish to have a continued change, I decided to run to help our country.)
Bayan Muna Chairman Neri Colmenares, who ran but lost in the 2016 senatorial race, returned to Comelec to weigh his chances again in 2019.
“Panahon na para magkaroon ng boses at mata ang karaniwang tao sa Senado, at manalo ang karaniwang tao sa 2019 elections,” he said.
(It’s time for ordinary people to have a voice in the Senate, for us to win in the 2019 elections.)
If elected, Colmenares said he will push for a P750 national daily minimum wage, removal of the excise tax on petroleum products, and the abolition of rice cartels.
Dr. Willie Ong
Former Department of Health consultant Dr. Willie Ong is also joining the senatorial race next year under the banner of Lakas-Christian Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD) party.
As a medical doctor, Ong said he would be run so the Senate would have a doctor who would address the health issues in the country.
“Nakita ko na meron tayong butas sa Senate. Wala kasing doctor doon,” he said. “So sabi ko, sino kaya ang pwedeng tumakbo [to address the health issues]?”
He said followers in social media urged him to run for senator.
Ong said that if he wins, he would push for free or more affordable medicines, and would make laboratory tests and health consultation free for Filipinos.
“Kapag napuntahan mo ‘yung mahirap na pasyente, maaawa kayo, matatransform kayo. Gusto natin tumulong, natry ko sa private, natry ko sa media, natry ko sa DOH (Department of Health), ito ang kailangan ngayon ng tao,” he said.
Ong said he would push for cheaper medicines as well as more accessible health care for the public at large, especially the poor.
Ex-ARMM Assemblyman Samira Gutoc-Tomawis, who was a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Committee (BTC) and a women’s rights advocate, is the first member of the opposition Liberal Party (LP) to file her candidacy for senator.
Gutoc said she will fight for the welfare of minority groups in the Senate.
“I am part of the opposition, bravely part of the opposition at the time for the opposition to move forward,” she told reporters shortly after filing her certificate of candidacy at the Commission on Elections in Intramuros, Manila.
Gutoc also said she will fight the welfare of disaster and calamity victims as she almost lost her mother in the Marawi City siege in May 2017.
“We are here for our evacuees to get the rightful share, kasi more than inflation, more than economic crisis, yung mga taong hindi marinig, nasa laylayan. Kailangan po mabigyan ng trabaho,” she said.
Gutoc quit her post as member of the BTC after President Duterte said a rape joke in 2017.
Atty. Danilo Roleda
Former Manila City Councilor Danilo Roleda also threw his hat in the 2019 senatorial race. He will under the United Nationalist Alliance.
Roleda was accompanied by Senator Nancy Binay, president of UNA, when he filed his COC at the Comelec. /jpv/kga
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