Twelve newly-proclaimed senators raise their hands at the Commission on Elections in Pasay, Manila, on Wednesday. Associated Press
Manolo B. Jara
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday proclaimed the 12 winners in the Senate race more than a week after the May 13 midterm polls that wiped out the opposition candidates and tightened President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte’s grip on Congress.
Of the 12 proclaimed, the Comelec said five were reelectionists, four newcomers and three returnees who are to join the remaining 12 incumbent members for a total of 24 in the chamber.
The reelectionists were Cynthia Villar who topped the Senate race, Sonny Angara, Aquilino Pimentel, Grace Poe and Nancy Binay who occupied the 12th and final winning slot.
On the other hand, the four newcomers consisted of Christopher “Bong” Go, Duterte’s special presidential assistant; former Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa and Governor Imee Marcos, a daughter of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and the outgoing governor of their home province of Ilocos Norte in Northern Luzon; and Francis Tolentino, another close Dutete aide.
Rounding up the returnees to the chamber were former senators Lito Lapid, an actor; Pia Cayetano and Ramon Revilla, also an actor who was recently acquitted by a special court called the Sandiganbayan for plunder for his alleged involvement in the $10 billion “pork barrel” allocation granted to lawmakers in the country’s biggest corruption scandal.
The proclamation of the 12 winners, most of whom are identified with Duterte, ensured complete control by the president and his supporters of Congress consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate. It also left only four opposition members - Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon as well as Senators Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan and Leila de Lima who is detained in a police facilitory following her indictment in court for her alleged link to illegal drugs.
On Tuesday, Pangilinan announced he was resigning as the head of the once dominant Liberal Party (LP) of then president Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino as he took full responsibility for the failure of the eight Senate opposition candidates to land in the Magic 12.
But Vice President Leni Robredo, the LP chairman, rejected the resignation of Pangilinan as well as that of Congressman Kit Belmonte of suburban Quezon City in Metro Manila as the party’s secretary-general.
Registered overseas voters at the Philippine Embassy and at the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO-AUH) in Al Qubaisa, Abu Dhabi flowed in continually on Thursday, the sixth day of the 30-day overseas voting (OV) for the May 13 Manila mid-term (legislative-general-local) elections.
Similar to their kababayans (countrymen) in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Filipinos in Abu Dhabi and the Western Region voted for the senatorial candidates identified with President Rodrigo Duterte, according to partial and unofficial results from the Philippine Embassy (AUHPE) in relation to the 31-day overseas voting for the May 13 Manila midterm elections.
This is based on the partial and unofficial results from the reading of the first round of election returns from 4,952 voters which lasted from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. on Monday.
Mock elections, in which Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates and accredited media took part, in relation to the month-long overseas absentee voting (OAV) electoral process for the one-day Manila’s Mid-Term (General and Local) Elections on May 13, Monday, were held at the Rizal Hall of the Philippine Consulate General in Al Qusais, Dubai (PCGDXB) on Saturday morning.
Standing 1,100 metres tall, Jabal Al Ruman will be covered with pomegranate trees that are ever-green, produce for around 50 years, stand 3 to 5 metres tall, can withstand low temperatures, and can be planted on various heights.
The new satellite MBZ-SAT is named after His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
The police received a tip-off that a gang was seeking to peddle a quantity of narcotics.