Villar to Sara Duterte: Back only 12 bets for senator
The Duterte administration should trim down the number of senatorial candidates it was supporting to avoid ballot mistakes that could invalidate votes, according to Sen. Cynthia Villar, who is running for reelection as an administration candidate.
“I think it’s wise for us to have 12 because votes may be wasted if voters would choose 14 candidates,” Villar said at a news briefing.
Villar, a member of Nacionalista Party, is running under the proadministration coalition group bannered by Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), a regional party founded by President Duterte’s daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio.
12 plus 2
Carpio earlier announced that the HNP would support 14 pro-Duterte senatorial candidates, including Villar. But only 12 Senate seats are up for grabs in the May elections.
Under the country’s automated election law, voters are allowed to shade ovals on ballots corresponding to the names of up to 12 senatorial candidates.
If a voter shaded the names of 13 or more candidates for senator, the vote would be considered an “overvote” and would be nullified by vote-counting machines.
Villar said previous studies showed that voters usually pick as many as seven senatorial candidates only.
“It’s the decision of HNP how to choose from among the 14 candidates,” she said.
Villar said the HNP, which had formed alliances with other national and regional political parties, would launch its campaign for senatorial candidates on Feb. 9 in Pampanga province, the political bailiwick of Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Villar said administration candidates also expected the President to endorse only 12, not 14, senatorial candidates.
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