Soldiers, cops, media vote Palparan for senator

Paterno Esmaquel II
Soldiers, cops, media vote Palparan for senator

Carlo Gabuco

Ex-police chief Panfilo Lacson tops the list of senatorial bets selected by absentee voters that include soldiers, cops, and media practitioners

MANILA, Philippines – If local absentee voters such as cops and soldiers had their way, the retired general known as “The Butcher” will become one of the Philippines’ 12 new senators. 

Now detained, the 65-year-old Jovito Palparan was one of the top 12 senatorial candidates chosen by local absentee voters from April 27 to 29.

Palparan took the 11th spot for senator during the local absentee voting (LAV) this year.

He got 7,481 votes in LAV. 

Palparan, who was arrested in 2014, is accused of ordering the torture, rape, and execution of two University of the Philippines students. (READ: Palparan on Duterte: ‘It’s fake bravery’)

Overall, however, Palparan has failed to make it to the winning circle as of posting time. 

In contrast to his strong standing in LAV, Palparan is only 39th in the latest partial and official tally released by the poll body. 

He has at least 828,888 votes in all.

Lacson tops local absentee voting

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday, May 17, said 19,225 voters joined the LAV this year. 

LAV was open to soldiers, policemen, other government employees, and accredited media practitioners who couldn’t vote on election day, May 9, because of various election duties.

Aside from Palparan, Senator Sergio Osmeña III made it to the winning circle in LAV, but not in the Comelec’s partial and official tally.

In contrast, former justice secretary Leila de Lima didn’t make it to the winning circle in LAV, where she ranks 13th. 

De Lima, a former chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, is one of the top 12 senatorial candidates based on the Comelec’s partial and official tally. 

Another difference is the ranking of former senator and police chief Panfilo Lacson in LAV. 

Lacson is the number one senatorial candidate for local absentee voters.

In the Comelec’s partial and official tally, Lacson is in the winning circle but ranks only 4th.

The Comelec is expected to proclaim the 12 winning senators on Thursday, May 19. –

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at