Robin Padilla tops Senate race as Comelec proclaims 12 senators-elect

Angelica Y. Yang - Philstar.com
Robin Padilla tops Senate race as Comelec proclaims 12 senators-elect
The 12 newly-elected senators raise each other's hands after the proclamation of winners of the 2022 polls at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on May 18, 2022.
The STAR / Geremy Pintolo

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 5:21 p.m.) — The Commission on Elections, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, on Wednesday proclaimed the 12 new senators whose six-year terms at the upper house of Congress will start on June 30.

Four re-electionists, five returnees and three first-timers will occupy the vacant seats in the Senate.

Actor Robin Padilla, a vocal supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, topped the 2022 senatorial race, after garnering 26.6 million votes. 

He earlier ranked the third in the private pollster Pulse Asia's latest survey conducted April 16 to 21. Padilla ran under the administration-backed party PDP-Laban.

House Deputy Speaker Rep. Loren Legarda (Antique), a multiple-term senator seeking a comeback, ranked second with 24.2 million votes. She ran under the Nationalist People's Coalition.

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The others who made it to the "Magic 12" are as follows: 

  • Broadcaster Raffy Tulfo (Independent)
  • Re-electionist Sen. Sherwin "Win" Gatchalian (Nationalist People's Coalition)
  • Sorsogon Gov. Francis "Chiz" Escudero (Nationalist People's Coalition)
  • Former Public Works Secretary Mark Villar (Nacionalista Party)
  • Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano (Independent)
  • Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri (Independent)
  • Re-electionist Sen. Joel Villanueva (Independent)
  • Former Sen. JV Ejercito (Nationalist People's Coalition)
  • Re-electionist Sen. Risa Hontiveros (Akbayan)
  • Former Sen. Jinggoy Estrada (Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino)

Duterte sends congratulations

President Rodrigo Duterte skipped the proclamation of the winners of the 2022 senatorial race yesterday but his spokesman issued a statement congratulating them and calling for unity to hasten the Philippines' recovery from the pandemic.

"We congratulate the twelve newly proclaimed Senators of the Republic. Our people have elected old and new faces in the Senate, and there is a sense of hope and optimism with the new set of lawmakers," acting presidential spokesman Martin Andanar said.

"It is now time to move forward after a divisive election campaign and begin the daunting task of speeding up our economic recovery affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Let us work closely together and pray for our nation’s success," he added.

Duterte also skipped his own proclamation ceremony on May 30, 2016.

In an interview two days before he was proclaimed the 16th president of the country, Duterte said he has never attended any proclamation in his life, describing the event as "corny."

The Senate of the Philippines is made up of 24 senators. Voters elected 12 senators in this year's elections. 

There are a total of 63 candidates who ran for senator in the 2022 polls. However, 64 bets were listed on the official ballot because House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta (SAGIP party-list) from the "UniTeam" coalition dropped out of the race after faring poorly on pre-election surveys.

The national and local polls were held on May 9. 

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