9 out of 12 elected senatorial bets are Duterte allies

MANILA, Philippines – Nine out of the 12 winners in the 2019 senatorial elections are allies of the administration, sparking fears of a rubber stamp Senate in the last half of President Rodrigo Duterte's term.

The 12 winning senatorial candidates were announced early Wednesday, May 22. Of the 12, only 3 are not allied with Duterte: independent reelectionist Grace Poe, reelectionist Nancy Binay, and actor and former senator Lito Lapid.

Bong Revilla, who continues to face graft charges even after his acquittal from plunder, was not endorsed by Duterte but was endorsed by presidential daughter Sara Duterte.

Revilla, however, has vowed he would support the Duterte administration.

The 9 winning Duterte-allied candidates are:

While Malacañang attributes the domination of the President's allies to "Duterte magic," most of the winning pro-Duterte bets had also been familiar names to voters, having occupied national government posts before.

The raw power of Duterte's endorsement was most apparent in the top 5 finish of Go and Dela Rosa, two electoral newbies from Davao City.

Go, Duterte's top aide, had beaten reelectionists and veteran politicians by landing in the 3rd spot. Dela Rosa, before the Senate race, had been Duterte's first police chief and Bureau of Corrections chief.

Tolentino's victory, to a lesser extent, also proves Duterte's endorsement power. He landed in the 9th spot this time – a better performance than his first senatorial bid, in 2016, when he placed 13th.

In 2016, Duterte had included Tolentino in his senatorial lineup when he was running for president.

In 2019, Duterte had campaigned most passionately for Go, Dela Rosa, and Tolentino. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.