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Monday, June 24, 2024

3 reelectionists, 2 ex-VPs, Trillanes all competing for Senate seats

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Three reelectionists, a former senator and two former Vice Presidents are among the senatorial wannabes who filed their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the 2022 elections.

Seeking fresh six-year terms in the Upper Chamber are Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, who is running under the banner of the Nationalist People’s Coalition; detained Sen. Leila De Lima, running under the Liberal Party; and Sen. Richard Gordon as an independent.

Former Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is eyeing a comeback under the opposition slate of Vice President Leni Robredo who filed her COC for president last Thursday.

Former VPs Noli de Castro and Jejomar Binay have also joined the senatorial race.

In filing his COC at Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City, Gatchalian said: “After much thought, I decided to seek re-election in the May 9, 2022 elections. I deem it best to continue my work in the Senate.”

Gatchalian, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Basic Education, has been responsible for the enactment of landmark laws such as the Free Higher Education Act, as he pushed for providing free tuition and other fees in state universities and colleges in the country.

He oversaw the passage of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) Act for out-of-school youth, adults, and children in special extreme cases and the National Academy of Sports (NAS).

Gatchalian also steered the passage into law of the Mobile Number Portability Act (MNPA), which allows mobile phone subscribers to switch network providers and keep their numbers for free and the Energy Virtual One-Stop Shop Act, a landmark anti-red tape measure.

He is also behind Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act, which advances energy efficiency and conservation practices in the country and provides tax incentives for energy-efficient projects

As chairperson of the Energy Committee in the Senate, he pushed for the enactment of the Murang Kuryente Act, the Lifeline Electricity Rate which subsidizes the electricity consumption of low-income households.

Another notable legislation of Gatchalian is the establishment of the Philippine Energy Research and Policy Institute Act (PERPI), an all-in-one institution that enables the country to keep up with technological innovations and energy and policy research.

These, he said, are seen as some of the crucial steps to be able to restore normalcy in the basic education sector.

De Lima, meanwhile, wants to continue her fight and advocacies like social justice, human rights, criminal justice reform, good governance and rule of law, and national sovereignty.

“Together with VP Leni and under her leadership, I and the other candidates of the Liberal Party and our allies, continue to represent the opposition in this country. We present to the people an alternative to the criminal government that now governs us in the most perverted sense, an alternative that should have been a continuity administration of peace, stability, and progress in 2016,” she said.

Trillanes, the former Navy officer, committed to continue his anti-corruption and governance reforms advocacy in the Senate, and will assist the Robredo administration in making those officials who abused their power, especially in this time of pandemic, accountable through the oversight functions of the Senate.

He will also pursue measures on economic recovery and poverty alleviation, peace and order, security sector reforms, healthcare reforms and COVID-19 Response, and education reforms.

“Above all, we must ensure that VP Leni will win as president to stop the destructive Duterte regime. After this, we can now start the rebuilding process for the country and that is the perfect role for future President Leni,” he said.

In 2019, Trillanes was recognized by the Philippine Senate, through Adopted Resolution No. 157, as the most productive Senator, as he ranked first in terms of number of national bills passed into law as principal author and principal sponsor.

He filed a total of 1,490 bills and resolutions, 98 of which were passed into law. Aside from passing laws, he was able to provide scholarships to more than 58,000 students and medical assistance to more than 190,000 patients.

Trillanes and the Magdalo group became known for standing against Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s corrupt and oppressive regime, and he was incarcerated for almost seven and a half years. In 2007, he won as a

Senator on a shoestring budget. Since 2016, he has continued to stand against President Rodrigo Duterte.

Trillanes initially vowed to run for president to lead the genuine opposition if Robredo would not file her COC for the country’s highest post.

Gordon filed his candidacy through his lawyer Inky Reyes. He was not present to tend to his immunocompromised spouse, Katherine. Gordon, 76, wants to stretch his clean and efficient brand of public service that had its genesis as the youngest delegate to the 1971 Constitutional Commission.

“It has been an honor serving the people over the last five years, but there is so much more to be accomplished. I am seeking re-election because there is still a lot of work to do for this great country,” he said.

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