All 12 winning senatorial candidates in the May 9 elections were proclaimed Wednesday by the Commission on Elections (Comelec), sitting as the National Board of Canvassers.
The elected senators will all assume office on June 30 at 12:01 p.m.
The Comelec en banc, composed of chairman Saidamen Pangarungan, and Commissioners George Garcia, Rey Bulay, Aimee Ferolino, Aimee Torrefranca-Neri, Marlon Casquejo, and Socorro Inting, took turns in presenting the certificates of proclamation to the elected senators at the proclamation rites at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.
Actor Robin Padilla, who ran under the ruling PDP-Laban, leads the senatorial race with 26,612,434 votes based on the latest partial and official vote count by the NBOC.
Padilla was followed by Antique Rep. Loren Legarda and broadcaster Raffy Tulfo who obtained 24,264,969 and 23,396,954, respectively.
Reelectionist Senator Sherwin Gatchalian clinched the 4th spot with 20,602,655 votes.
The other senators in the “Magic 12” were: Sorsogon Gov. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, 20,271,458; former Public Works secretary Mark Villar, 19,475,592; Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, 19,295,314; Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, 18,734,336; Senator Joel Villanueva, 18,486,034; former senator JV Ejercito, 15,841,858; Senator Risa Hontiveros, 15,420,807; and former senator Jinggoy Estrada, 15,108,625.
Three of the winning senators, Padilla, Tulfo and Villar, are newcomers. Four are re-electionists—Gatchalian, Zubiri, Villanueva and Hontiveros, and five—Legarda, Escudero, Cayetano, Ejercito and Estrada—are returning to the Senate.
They will join the remaining senators in the Senate whose six-year terms end on June 30, 2025. They are Senators Cynthia Villar, Pia Cayetano, Nancy Binay, Grace Poe, Imee Marcos, Sonny Angara, Aquilino Pimentel III, Christopher Go, Francis Tolentino, Ronald dela Rosa, Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla.
Other former senators who ran but lost are former Department of Information and Communications Secretary Gregorio Honasan and Antonio Trillanes IV.
Re-electionists Sen. Leila de Lima and Richard Gordon failed in their bid to seek a fresh mandate.
In his speech, Pangarungan noted that the glory of the winning candidates was shared by the voters in the May 9, 2022 polls that has recorded the highest voter turnout of 83.11 percent and lowest election-related violence of 16 incidents, so far.
Of the 66,839,976 registered voters, 55,549,791 actually voted.
“As we usher in a new set of leaders from the local government units up to the national positions, I am proud to say that the Commission on Elections has successfully defended the sovereign right of the people to the democratic process of elections,” the Comelec chairman said.
The proclamation was based on the latest canvass report by the NBOC, wherein 172 out of 173 Certificates of Canvass (COCs) for senators and party-list groups from the automated election system, manual overseas voting, local absentee voting, persons deprived as liberty, and 63 barangays in the Bangsamoro region were canvassed.
Lanao del Sur is still set to conduct its special elections on May 24 after a reported failure of elections.
Pimentel said Wednesday that he is leaning towards joining Hontiveros, the lone opposition lawmaker, in the minority in the incoming 19th Congress.
Hontiveros is the lone member of the opposition who got another term in the Senate.
Minority Leader Franklin Drilon is retiring while detained Senator Leila de Lima failed to win re-election. Senator Francis Pangilinan lost to Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte in the vice-presidential race.
Pimentel said that being part of the minority does not always mean opposing the majority, but playing a part in improving legislation.
Marcos, the eldest sister of presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr., will face Legarda in a fight to be Senate President Pro Tempore, the second highest post in the Senate. The post is currently held by Senator Ralph Recto, whose term ends on June 30.
Legarda’s name has been floated as a contender for the Senate Presidency, but Angara said in a recent forum that both she and Marcos
expressed a preference for Recto’s position.