The week for the filing of certificates of candidacy began with Senator Aquilino Pimentel III and ended with an unpopular man who always filed for candidacy.
Manuel Po, also known as "Fernando Po", was the 84th and last to file his candidacy papers at the Commission on Elections main office as the agency closed its doors to political aspirants Friday afternoon. Po filed candidacy papers in 2010 and 2007 under the names "Fernando Po" and "Lapula Po".
Of the 84 who filed their certificates of candidacy, only 36 had the backing of political parties. Among the accredited parties, the Marcos-era Kilusang Bagong Lipunan nominated the most candidates with nine aspirants including lawyer Oliver Lozano.
The United Nationalist Alliance is fielding nine candidates: Senator Gregorio Honasan, San Juan Representative JV Ejercito, Cagayan Rep. Jack Enrile, Zambales Representative Milagros Magsaysay, former senators Ernesto Maceda, Richard Gordon, and Juan Miguel Zubiri. Margarita Cojuangco is also running under UNA, as is UNA deputy secretary general Nancy Binay, who was a last-minute addition to the slate.
UNA will support three guest candidates: Senators Francis Escudero (Indepedent), Loren Legarda (Nationalist People's Coalition), and former censor board chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares (Independent). The guest candidates will also be running under a coalition led by the administration Liberal Party.
The LP itself is fielding just three candidates: former senators Ramon Magsaysay Jr. and Jamby Madrigal, and social entrepreneur Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, the President's cousin. The LP has entered into a coalition with the Nacionalista Party, which is fielding Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano and former Las Pinas representative Cynthia Villar. Akbayan party-list, also a member of the coalition, is again trying its luck at a Senate seat with former representative Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel.
Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino is the lone senatorial candidate of the Makabayan coalition. He has said it is time for new blood in the Senate.
Ang Kapatiran Party has three candidates: JC Delos Reyes, Lito David, and lawyer Marwin Llasos, They call themselves "Tatlo Kontra-Trapo."
Less-known parties Democratic Party of the Philippines, with candidates Greco Belgica, Christian Seneres, and Baldohero Falcone, as well as the Social Justice Society, with Samson Alcantara, are also participating in the Senate race.
Comelec has yet to determine the official list of Senate candidates.
Full list of hopefuls:
North Korea fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea and vowed "merciless" retaliation Monday as the US and South Korea kicked off joint military drills denounced by Pyongyang as recklessly confrontational. The annual exercises always trigger a surge in military tensions and warlike rhetoric on the divided peninsula, and analysts saw the North's missile tests as a prelude to a concerted campaign of sabre-rattling. "If there is a particularly sharp escalation, we could see the …