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Senate race: Familiar, old and new faces mix it up

By: - Content Researcher Writer / @CeBacligINQ
/ 05:21 PM October 18, 2021

MANILA, Philippines—Following the week-long filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) and certificates of nomination and acceptance (CONA) for the 2022 national elections, aspirants for Senate seats have been listed by the different candidates for president and vice president.

The senatorial lineups were a mix of old names in politics, new faces and a combination of long-time allies and old foes on one list.

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In the end, only 12 senatorial candidates will be able to secure coveted seats up for grab in the upper chamber of Congress.

Meet the candidates

In case you missed it—or if perhaps you are looking for a collated list of the Senate slates—below are the senatorial candidates who were endorsed to run under the tickets of presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

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READ: COC filing week: The old, the new, and the future

Graphic by Ed Lustan

First off is the list of candidates who are included in the senatorial slate of Vice President Leni Robredo and Sen. Francis Pangilinan.

These include:

  • Former Vice President Jejomar Binay — United Nationalist Alliance
  • Senator Richard Gordon — Bagumbayan-VNP Movement
  • Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri —  Independent
  • Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero — Nationalist People’s Coalition
  • Senator Joel Villanueva — Independent
  • Author and poet Alex Lacson — Ang Kapatiran Party
  • Former Senator Sonny Trillanes — Liberal Party
  • Senator Risa Hontiveros — Akbayan
  • Senator Leila De Lima — Liberal Party
  • Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno — Katipunan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino
  • Former congressman Teddy Baguilat — Liberal Party

The list stirred controversy over two candidates who were known as foes in the past—Binay and Trillanes.

Graphic by Ed Lustan

The animosity between the two prominent politicians stemmed from a Senate investigation into alleged corruption in Makati City, which was then headed by Binay.

Still, despite the differences and past feuds among her senatorial aspirants, Robredo said the candidates have committed to work together.

“When we look at the 11 candidates in our slate right now, they have different experiences and history. But what’s most important is when we asked for unity, their readiness to set aside their past was there,” she said at a press briefing.

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“I believe no one is perfect among us, including myself. No one is perfect but what’s most important is the commitment and readiness to sit and listen to the different perspectives and craft a plan and agreement to operationalize our aspirations. They were the ones who showed us that readiness,” she added.

READ: Former VP Binay, 5 others in Robredo-Pangilinan Senate slate

Many also noticed that senatorial candidate and former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares was missing in the almost complete lineup.

Graphic by Ed Lustan

The activist politician, who can still be included on Robredo’s senatorial list which only has 11 candidates as of now, said he understood Robredo’s list.

“Vice President Leni Robredo’s decision on who to include in her senatorial slate is her prerogative as the presidential candidate. My non-inclusion in her slate at this time is based on what she thinks is best for the interest of her candidacy,” Colmenares said.

READ: ‘That’s her prerogative’: Colmenares says no ill feelings after non-inclusion in Robredo senate ticket

Next, the senatorial lineup of Sen. Manny Pacquiao’s faction in the PDP-Laban party.

Graphic by Ed Lustan

Pacquiao, who had filed his COC for president alongside his running mate deputy Speaker and former Manila mayor Lito Atienza, announced 10 names in his senatorial ticket—which likewise included some guest candidates.

These were:

  • Senator Richard Gordon — Bagumbayan-VNP Movement
  • Former Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares — Makabayan Bloc
  • Labor leader Elmer Labog  — Independent
  • Broadcaster Raffy Tulfo — Independent
  • Former Vice President Jejomar Binay —  United Nationalist Alliance
  • Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri —  Independent
  • Senator Joel Villanueva —   Independent
  • Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero — Nationalist People’s Coalition
  • Antique Rep. Loren Legarda — Nationalist People’s Coalition
  • Former governor/ former Senate secretary Lutgardo Barbo — PDP-Laban

“We have a senatorial lineup. We did not complete it because there are many guest candidates for senators and we are not cornering them… they can choose to be guest candidates,” Pacquiao said earlier.

READ: Pacquiao adds Gordon, Colmenares to 10-man senatorial slate

The tandem of Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III has revealed its list of 14 “preferred” senatorial candidates.

Their senatorial slate include:

  • Antique Rep. Loren Legarda — Nationalist People’s Coalition
  • Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero — Nationalist People’s Coalition
  • Senator Sherwin Gatchalian — Nationalist People’s Coalition
  • Former Senator JV Ejercito — Nationalist People’s Coalition
  • Former Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista — Nationalist People’s Coalition
  • Former Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol — Nationalist People’s Coalition
  • Opthalmologist Minguita Padilla — Partido Para sa Demokratikong Reporma
  • Former Makati Representative Monsour del Rosario — Partido Para sa Demokratikong Reporma
  • Media practioner and PWD advocate Paolo “Powee” Capino — Partido Para sa Demokratikong Reporma
  • Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri — Independent
  • Senator Joel Villanueva — Independent
  • Senator Richard Gordon — Bagumbayan-VNP Movement
  • Former Vice President Jejomar Binay — United Nationalist Alliance
  • Former Communications and Information Technology Secretary Gringo Honasan — Independent

READ: 14 ‘preferred’ senatorial bets under Lacson-Sotto slate named

Graphic by Ed Lustan

Lacson earlier said he and his running mate were planning to adopt 14 deserving senatorial candidates, instead of only 12.

“Our initial plan is to adopt all 14 and we are only adopting them and we will campaign because we feel that they are the ones qualified to go to be elected as senators of the republic,” he said.

Presidential aspirant and veteran labor leader Ka Leody de Guzman, who will be running under Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM) party, also publicized the candidates whom he chose to be in his Senate slate.

Among the names that he endorsed were his party mates including:

  • Labor leader Luke Espiritu — Partido Lakas Masa
  • Environmentalist Roy Cabonegro — Partido Lakas Masa
  • Environmentalist David D’angelo — Partido Lakas Masa

He likewise expressed support for the following candidates, who are not running under his party:

  • Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno — Katipunan ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino
  • Senator and feminist Risa Hontiveros — Akbayan
  • Activist lawyer Neri Colmenares — Makabayan Bloc
  • Trade unionist Elmer Bong Labog — Independent
  • Labor lawyer Sonny Matula — Independent
  • Senator Leila de Lima — Liberal Party

“They are not my party mates but I trust them very much,” De Guzman said in a tweet.

“This is not transactional politics. I trust their vision for our country,” he added.

Senatorial candidates under the umbrella of Aksyon Demokratiko party were in the Senate lineup of Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso and his running mate Doc Willie Ong.

These were: Samira Gutoc, Carl Balita, and Jopet Sison — who took the slot of former vice president and veteran news anchor Noli de Castro.

READ: Noli de Castro withdraws senatorial bid

Former senator and presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, has yet to announce his Senate ticket.

‘Guest’ candidates

Most of the senatorial slates from the different presidential and vice-presidential tandems included so-called “guest candidates.”

Guest candidates refer to those who were endorsed by a political party or a presidential and vice-presidential tandem while running under a different political party.

Graphic by Ed Lustan

Under Section 70 of the Omnibus Election Code of the Philippines, “a political party may nominate and/or support candidates not belonging to it.”

However, prior to the 1985 Omnibus Election Code, guest candidacy was almost prohibited by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

The first section under Presidential Decree No. 1661 stated that it is “unlawful for any registered or accredited political party to nominate and/or support as its official candidate any person belonging to another accredited or registered party unless he has affiliated with the nominating party within six months before the election.”

https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1980/01/03/presidential-decree-no-1661-s-1980/

The presidential decree signed by Marcos on Jan. 3, 1980, was amended on the very same day, effective under the issuance of Presidential Decree No, 1661-A.

On January 26, 1980, the decree was further amended to read as follows:

“SECTION. 1. Guest Candidacy. — It shall be unlawful for any registered or accredited political party to nominate and/or support as its official candidate any person belonging to another accredited or registered party unless he has affiliated with the nominating party unless he has affiliated with the nominating party at least six months before the election: Provided, that a person who participated as an officer in the campaign of a political party, group or aggrupation in the immediately preceding elections shall be deemed a member of such party as of the date of the political campaign, for purposes of nomination as official candidate of such party in succeeding elections.”

https://www.officialgazette.gov.ph/1980/01/26/presidential-decree-no-1667-s-1980/

Reelectionists, familiar names

The lineups were composed of a diverse group of candidates who are either seeking reelection, hoping for a Senate comeback, or simply prominent legislators who are vying for a Senate seat.

Among the incumbent senators from the 18th Congress who are running for reelection were:

  • Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri
  • Sen. Richard Gordon
  • Sen. Risa Hontiveros
  • Sen. Leila De Lima
  • Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian
  • Sen. Joel Villanueva

Some candidates were previously elected as senators and are hoping to return after term limits drove them into a hiatus:

These were:

  • Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero
  • Antique Rep. Loren Legarda
  • Former senator Sonny Trillanes
  • Former senator and ex-DICT Secretary Gringo Honasan
  • Former senator JV Ejercito

Some familiar names, who either ran in previous elections or are well-known personalities in politics, also entered the senatorial race.

These include:

  • Jejomar Binay — Former vice president and longtime mayor of Makati City. He ran for president in 2016. He also ran for a House seat in 2019.
  • Chel Diokno — Unsuccessfully ran for senator in 2019 as one of the Liberal Party’s eight senatorial candidates known as Otso Diretso.
  • Samira Gutoc — Another Otso Diretso candidate in 2019.
  • Teddy Baguilat — Member of the Philippine House of Representatives from 2010–2019. He also served as governor of Ifugao from 2007-2010.
  • Herbert Bautista — Quezon City mayor from 2010-2019. He also served as the city’s vice mayor from 1995-1998 and 2001-2010.
  • Jopet Sison — Ran for Quezon City vice mayor under PDP-Laban in 2019 but lost to Hugpong ng Pagbabago’s Gian Sotto. He also served as Quezon City councilor.
  • Monsour del Rosario — Makati City First District representative from 2016-2019 and member of the Makati City Council from 2010-2016.
  • Manny Piñol — Served as secretary of the Department of Agriculture (DA) from 2016-2019 and chair of the Mindanao Development Authority from 2019 to October 5, 2021.

New faces

While familiar faces flooded the senatorial lineup, there were still new names included in the mix, such as:

  • Lutgardo Barbo — who served as Senate secretary in two previous Congresses.
  • Alex Lacson — who, aside from being an author and poet, unsuccessfully tried to run for congressman in the sixth district of Negros Occidental in 2019. He ran for senator in 2010 under Liberal Party but lost.
  • Sonny Matula — a labor lawyer who ran for senator in 2019 but finished 50th in the race out of 62 candidates.
  • Raffy Tulfo — TV and radio anchor known as “Idol Raffy” by his avid viewers.
  • Minguita Padilla — doctor and former president of the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP).
  • Paolo Capino — media practitioner and PWD advocate.
  • Elmer “Bong” Labog — chair of labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU).
  • Luke Espiritu — president of labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP).
  • Roy Cabonegro — environmentalist.
  • David D’angelo — environmental activist and a cosplayer.
  • Carl Balita — radio host, founder of the Carl Balita Review Center, registered midwife, and registered nurse.

TSB

RELATED STORY: It’s them again: As COC filing ends, Metro Manila sees old, big names

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