'Kabayan' Noli de Castro files COC for senator

Former vice president and television news anchor Noli de Castro is back in politics after an 11-year hiatus.

De Castro filed his certificate of candidacy for senator on Friday, October 8, at around 10:30 am before the Commission on Elections (Comelec), cementing his return to politics after his term as vice president ended in 2010.

He has joined the senatorial slate of presidential bet Isko Moreno and took his oath as member of his party Aksyon Demokratiko on Thursday.

De Castro, known popularly as "Kabayan," is one of ABS-CBN's most prominent news anchors, hosting its flagship national newscast and longest-running Filipino language evening newscast, TV Patrol.

ABS-CBN was denied a new franchise by the House of Representatives, dominated by President Rodrigo Duterte's allies, after its old congressional franchise expired in May 2020 and it had to go off-air.

The franchise denial has been slammed as a major attack on press freedom by Duterte since it came at the heels of the President's repeated threats to block ABS-CBN's franchise renewal over what he claims were slights done by the network against him.

ABS-CBN's shutdown dealt a severe blow to Filipinos' access to news and information since the network had the widest reach throughout the Philippines.

If the 72-year-old De Castro wins, it will be his second time as senator. He had previously served in the chamber from 2001 to 2004 before running for vice president alongside Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. – 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.