Vilma Santos Recto endorses Romy Macalintal for senator

Mara Cepeda

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Vilma Santos Recto endorses Romy Macalintal for senator
Otso Diretso senatorial bet Romy Macalintal hails from Batangas, where Vilma Santos Recto is an incumbent congresswoman and former longtime governor

MANILA, Philippines – Reelectionist Batangas 6th District Representative Vilma Santos Recto is backing the senatorial bid of election lawyer Romy Macalintal, who also hails from the province. 

The Otso Diretso senatorial bet posted on Tuesday, April 30, a video of Recto standing beside him as she endorsed him for senator. 

“Isang Batangueño po ito. Definitely welcome na welcome po siya. Susuportahan po siya ng mga Batangueño. And definitely isa na sa aking senador – si Atty Mac!” said Recto, who was a longtime provincial governor before she ran and won for Congress in 2016.

(He is a Batangueño. He is definitely welcome here. Batangueños will support him. And definitely among my list of senators – Atty Mac!)

A smiling Macalintal thanked the congresswoman then hugged her.

“Proven na po ‘yan, proven na (That’s proven already)!” Recto told Macalintal, who ranked 25th to 31st in the April Pulse Asia survey with a 41% awareness rating and only a 5.2% voter preference rating. 

Apart from both being Batangueños, Macalintal and Recto have ties with the once-ruling Liberal Party (LP).

Macalintal, an independent candidate, is part of the LP-allied Otso Diretso senatorial ticket. He was endorsed to the slate by no less than his client, Vice President Leni Robredo, who is LP chairperson. 

Recto used to be a member of LP, but she and her husband, Senator Ralph Recto, left the party late last year. The Rectos then formed their own local party One Batangas, which has coalesced with the Nacionalista Party (NP). 

Apart from Macalintal, One Batangas is also endorsing the senatorial bids of Otso Diretso bets Chel Diokno and Erin Tañada, as well as the reelection bids of Senators Nancy Binay, Koko Pimentel, and Cynthia Villar, the wife of NP president and former senator Manny Villar. –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.