MANILA, Philippines – The proclamation of winning senators in the 2019 midterm elections has finally pushed through on Wednesday (May 22), several days after the conduct of the May 13 polls.
The proclamation ceremony for senators was held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) around 10 a.m.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec), sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), originally scheduled the proclamation on Tuesday but had to defer it to wait for the arrival and canvassing of delayed election returns from Washington, D.C. in the United States, which represent around 200,000 voters.
The NBOC ended late Tuesday the canvassing of a total of 167 certificates of canvass from local and overseas clustered precincts.
Promptly at 10 a.m., the ceremony started with the singing of the Philippine National Anthem and then followed by the announcement of the 12 winning senators.
Reelectionist Senator Cynthia Villar led the list of newly-elected senators after she garnered 25,283,727 votes.
In a speech during the proclamation rites, Villar thanked her family, friends and those who believed in and voted for her in the recently-concluded elections. She also vowed to continue implementing her livelihood and farming advocacies, called “HanepBuhay,” to help alleviate the lives of poor Filipinos.
In a separate statement, she also expressed gratitude to President Rodrigo Duterte for endorsing her candidacy during the campaign period.
Finishing at number two spot was reelectionist Senator Grace Poe who received 22,029,788 votes.
Poe, who ran as an independent candidate, also expressed her gratitude for getting another term at the Senate. She also vowed to support the administration’s policies but will not hesitate to speak up about issues when necessary.
Landing at third spot was former presidential special assistant Bong Go who got a total of 20,657,702 votes.
Returning to the Senate after finishing at fourth spot was Pia Cayetano with 19,789,019 votes.
Former Philippine National Police chief Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa landed at fifth spot with 19,004,225 votes. In a brief interview with the media prior to his proclamation, dela Rosa expressed happiness for his victory but declined to provide any details when asked about his priority bills when he enters the upper chamber of Congress.
Reelectionist senator Sonny Angara finished the race at sixth place with 18,161,862 votes. He dedicated his win to his late father, former senator Edgardo Angara. He also vowed to push for measures seeking to provide additional pension for the elderly, wages for teachers and address the needs of persons with disabilities (PWD), among others.
Manuel “Lito” Lapid was at seventh spot with 16,965,464 votes, followed by Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” Marcos who received a total of 15,882,628 votes.
In a brief media interview, Marcos expressed gratitude for those voted for her. She was also relieved that the proclamation finally pushed through on Wednesday, revealing that she has yet to get a good night sleep as they were closely monitoring the canvassing of votes.
Meanwhile, Francis Tolentino placed ninth in the senate race with 15,510,026 votes. In an interview on the sidelines of the proclamation event, he revealed that he has begun interviewing individuals who will be part of his legislative staff in the senate.
Tolentino, who is among the five Senate neophytes in the 18th Congress, said he would prioritize amendments to the local government code, and push for measures that would improve the country’s disaster management and water systems.
Reelectionist senator Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel landed at tenth spot with 14,668,665 votes, followed by Ramong “Bong” Revilla Jr., who garnered 14,624,445 votes.
Revilla declined to grant media interview before the proclamation ceremony started earlier.
Completing the top 12 newly-elected senators was Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay with 14,504,936.
The proclamation of winning senators ended past 11 a.m.
The Comelec said the proclamation of the 61 party-list representatives will be held at the PICC later at 7 p.m. (with details from Rosalie Coz)
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