Graduating senators Chiz Escudero and Loren Legarda scored landslide victories in their hometown in Sorsogon and Antique, respectively.
Escudero, an adopted candidate of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, was proclaimed as the newly-elected governor of Sorsogon, while Legarda was proclaimed the new congresswoman of the lone district of Antique.
Escudero amassed 303,960 votes against rival Vladimir Frivaldo of PDP-Laban who had 31,867 votes.
The outgoing senator said that as soon as he assumes his post, he will focus on the province’s livelihood and tourism programs to spur economic growth and improve the lives of residents.
Legarda’s victory, meanwhile, spelled the end of the 32-year rule of the Javier dynasty in her home province.
The outgoing chairman of the Senate finance committee swept all of the province’s 18 towns, with 199,187 votes (based on the certificate of canvass of votes) against the former governor and Congressman Exequiel Javier’s 69,716 votes, one of the largest margins of victory in the 2019 elections.
Javier sought to replace his son, incumbent Congressman Paolo Javier, who was defeated for governor by Rhodora Cadiao, marking the first election since 1987 that no Javier has won any position.
Despite facing a well-entrenched political dynasty, Legarda led all pre-election surveys, reflecting the overwhelming desire for change in Antique.
The province has the highest poverty incidence in Western Visayas according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
“By the grace of God, we have become victorious. I thank all Antiqueños who voted for me, especially those who supported me from the start. This victory is not for me alone, but for Antique and the Antiqueños. Now that the election is over, we should start working together. I extend my hand to every Antiqueño—let us unite to defeat the real enemy, which is poverty,” said Legarda.
“We are determined to do more in Antique in the next three years than has been done in the last 30 years, and prove that every province has the potential to bring prosperity to its people,” she added.
“I ran for Congress to bring my two decades of Senate work to the grassroots, and make Antique a role model for sustainable development for the rest of the country.”
This is Legarda’s first entry into local politics, being at the end of her second consecutive term in the Senate.
Legarda has served 18 years as a senator, championing causes such as environmental protection, sustainable development, and women and children’s rights.
As a three-term senator, Legarda has crafted laws on education, such as the Free College Education Law; on health, such as the National Health Insurance Act of 2013; and on livelihood, such as the Magna Carta for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Barangay Kabuhayan Act, among many other laws that address the various needs of Filipinos.
Aside from funding these laws, she has also ensured that the government’s programs—free college education in state universities and colleges, free healthcare services, skills trainings, employment and livelihood programs from various agencies—reach all corners of the province.
Legarda said that as Congresswoman of Antique, she will ensure that her kasimanwas will continue to feel the improvement in their lives, as what is already happening in the province through her efforts to bring government services closer to the Antiqueños.