Meet PH’s 12 new senators

Paterno R. Esmaquel II
Meet PH’s 12 new senators
(UPDATED) Comelec proclaimed the winners in the 2016 senatorial election: 5 newcomers, 3 reelectionists; 4 returning

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – One of the closest allies of President Benigno Aquino III, Liberal Party stalwart Senator Franklin Drilon, topped the list of 12 new senators whom the Commission on Elections (Comelec) proclaimed on Thursday afternoon, May 19.

In second place is Joel Villanueva, who headed a government agency in charge of technical and vocational courses. 

Other notable figures include boxing champ Manny Pacquiao and former Philhealth director Risa Hontiveros.

Pacquiao served for two terms as Sarangani congressman, and is entering national politics for the first time. (READ: Manny Pacquiao, the senator)

Meanwhile, third time’s the charm for Hontiveros, who already ran for senator but lost in 2010 and 2013.

Reading from Comelec Resolution Number 007-16, Chairman Andres Bautista proclaimed the 12 candidates with the highest number of votes based on the final, official tally:

Until early Thursday afternoon, the proclamation of the last 3 winning senators was in limbo 

This was after the 13th placer, Francis Tolentino, ran to the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the proclamation of the senators in the 10th to 12th slots in the winning circle.

Tolentino said the recent unauthorized change in an election-related hash code could have compromised the automated election system.

Elections chief Bautista said, however, that “based on tabulated national canvass reports” the 12th-ranked candidate (De Lima) had a lead of 1,332,972 votes over 13th-ranked candidate (Tolentino).

Given that only 1,211 votes had yet to be canvassed, the number “will not materially affect the ranking of the 12 winning senators.”

Read the other stories from the proclamation:





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Paterno R. Esmaquel II

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