The Commission on Elections (Comelec), sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), on Wednesday proclaimed the 12 winning senators, nine days after the May 13 midterm elections.
The winners included five reelectionists, four neophytes and three others who had previously served in the Senate. All are associated with the administration, though Senate President Vicente Sotto has earlier said the Senate will remain independent.
The victory of administration-backed senatorial candidates is seen to give President Rodrigo Duterte a stronger grip on the Senate and weaken the small opposition bloc in the chamber.
Leading the 12 is incumbent Senator Cynthia Villar who garnered 25,283,727 votes. She is followed by her colleague, Grace Poe, who obtained 22,029,788 votes.
Landing third was former Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go (20,657,702 votes), followed by Taguig Representative Pia Cayetano (19,789,019) and former Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa (19,004,225 votes).
Completing the Top 12 list are the following:
- Senator Sonny Angara - 18,161,862 votes
- Former Senator Lito Lapid - 16,965,464 votes
- Ilocos Norte Governor Imee Marcos - 15,882,628 votes
- Former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino - 15,510,026 votes
- Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel - 14,668,665 votes
- Former Senator Ramon Bong Revilla - 14,624,445 votes
- Senator Nancy Binay - 14,504,936 votes
The results are based on a total of 167 certificates of canvass that were transmitted from all over the country, as well as those manually prepared, including detainee and local absentee voting.
The newly-proclaimed senators will hold Senate seats until 2025.
The winners will serve alongside incumbent Senators Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Pangilinan, Leila De Lima, Vicente Sotto III, Joel Villanueva, Sherwin Gatchalian, Ralph Recto, Miguel Zubiri, Richard Gordon, Panfilo Lacson and Manny Pacquiao, whose terms will last until 2022.
It took more than a week for the NBOC to conduct the canvassing procedures. The canvassing of votes ended past midnight of Wednesday.
In his speech, Comelec chairman Sheriff Abas expressed gratitude to the whole Comelec for "going above and beyond with their service for the successful conduct of the 2019 national and local elections."
"I'm proud to say that we have delivered more than what is needed," Abas said. "Thank you for effectively handling all the difficult and complex situations that have arisen during the conduct of elections."
While the canvassing was ongoing, there came some calls urging the poll body to suspend the scrutiny of votes as there were allegations that the recently-concluded elections was marred with fraud.
Some also urged the Comelec to suspend the proclamation of winning national candidates due to alleged irregularities hounding the elections.
The camp of Labor Win senatorial candidate Leody De Guzman claimed that Comelec had hastened the proclamation of winning national candidates.
The poll body has denied the allegation. —KBK, GMA News