MANILA, Philippines – Senators Richard Gordon and Leila de Lima are not returning to the Senate based on partial and unofficial canvassing results.
As of 12:17 pm Tuesday, May 10, with over 97% of election returns, Gordon ranked 22nd with 8,221,311 votes and De Lima 23rd with 7,165,987 votes.
Four of the other six incumbent senators who ran for reelection on May 9 are poised to retain their seats: senators Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, Win Gatchalian, Joel Villanueva, and Risa Hontiveros.
Gordon and De Lima’s losses were somehow predicted by their rankings in preelection surveys. In the latest Pulse Asia survey, Gordon ranked 15th-16th while De Lima ranked 21st-27th.
As the chairman of the Senate blue-ribbon panel, Gordon probed the multibillion-peso pandemic deals of the Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation. [READ: Gordon wants 2 execs of firms linked to Pharmally arrested]
De Lima, a Liberal Party member, is part of the minority bloc of the Senate. She remains in detention in the last year of the Duterte administration since her arrest in February 2017. [ READ: De Lima still hopes for justice on 5th Christmas in detention]
Duterte targeted De Lima as she led a series of Senate hearings that probed his controversial drug war and his links to the Davao Death Squad during his term as Davao City mayor. The outgoing president now faces an International Criminal Court probe that has been paused following a request from the Duterte administration.
Hontiveros is the only member of the opposition to rank among the top 12 senatorial candidates.
In the 2019 elections, not a single opposition candidate won a seat in the Senate for the first time since 1938.
In a handwritten statement sent by her staff to newsrooms, De Lima thanked those who campaigned and voter for her:
Our journey for the past three months, an uphill battle indeed, is an irreplaceable treasure. I would not have been here as Senator without your help, hard work and sacrifices. And I would not have had the strength and courage to keep fighting without your support and faith.
As I have said, win or lose, it is the compassion for each other and love for our country that matter–love that propels our shared causes, no matter the cost or consequences.
I don’t have any regrets. I am still and forever will be thankful for the opportunity to serve our countrymen. Mapapagod, pero hindi susuko. Magagalit, pero hindi mauubos ang pagmamahal sa bayan. Mangangamba at mag-aalala, pero hindi maduduwag na ipaglaban ang tama at makatarungan. I will continue to fight and fight more for Truth, Justice, and Freedom.
Isang mahigpit na yakap, at taos-pusong pasasalamat sa inyong lahat.
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