Comelec chairperson Sheriff Abas raises the hand of senator-elect Cynthia Villar during the proclamation of winning senators at the Philippine International Convention Center Wednesday morning. Toledo IV
Senate topnotcher Villar thanks Dutertes for endorsement
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - May 22, 2019 - 3:19pm

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Cynthia Villar, the frontrunner of the Senate race in this year’s midterm elections, expressed gratitude to the Dutertes for backing her re-election bid.

Villar, who emerged as the most voted senatorial candidate after receiving 25,283,727 votes, was proclaimed as one of the country’s senators Wednesday morning by the Commission on Elections as the National Board of Canvassers.

In her acceptance speech, Villar thanked her family and staff for being a huge part of her achievements as a legislator and victory in last week’s polls.

She also thanked President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio for backing her candidacy.

Villar ran under the Nacionalista Party and was endorsed by the ruling party PDP-Laban and Carpio’s regional party Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

“I would like to acknowledge and thank on behalf of the nine elected senators for the endorsement and support President Rodrigo Duterte and his party PDP-Laban for including us as guest senatorial candidates,” she said.

Villar added: “Of course, thank you also to Mayor Inday Sara Duterte for her untiring support to us and the entire slate of Hugpong ng Pagbabago during the campaign.”

‘Independent’ upper chamber

The Senate race leader said that “a strong and independent Senate has always been our goal ever since.”

She also said: “It is our prayer and hope that the new set of senators will be able to accomplish what we have set out to do and fulfill our promises to the voting public and set aside our political differences. The Senate or the entire Congress after all is a collegial body.”

Allies of the president dominated this year’s Senate race with no opposition candidate snagging a seat at the upper chamber.

Experts said this could strengthen Duterte’s political clout in Congress and pave way for his policies but it could also weigh on the system of checks and balances in the country.

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