2022 Philippine Elections

Robin Padilla, the only PDP-Laban bet to score a Senate seat

Aika Rey
Robin Padilla, the only PDP-Laban bet to score a Senate seat

Leyte Rep. Martin Romualdez welcomes cousin and presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr and several of Uniteam's senate hopefuls, as they campaign in Catarman, Northern Samar on April 8, 2022.

Niu00f1o Anthony Valenzuela/PonD News Asia

PDP-Laban bet Rodante Marcoleta, meanwhile, would have lost the Senate race, but withdrew his candidacy and avoids the one-year ban on appointments

MANILA, Philippines – Out of the several senatoriables under ruling party PDP-Laban, only actor Robin Padilla is set to score a Senate seat.

Based on the Commission on Elections’ partial and unofficial results, Padilla is set to top the Senate race with 26,267,185 million votes as of Tuesday, May 10, at 1:56 pm with 97.59% of precincts reporting results.

Padilla, a longtime supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, joined the ruling party on October 5, 2021 – the same week as the filing of the certificate of candidacy. He is part of the faction led by Duterte and Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi.

In technical terms, Padilla only used PDP-Laban as his political vehicle, but his popularity as an actor and his constant appearance in Uniteam sorties have still much to do with his getting a Senate seat.

Completing the top 12 are:

  • Loren Legarda
  • Raffy Tulfo
  • Sherwin Gatchalian
  • Chiz Escudero
  • Mark Villar
  • Alan Peter Cayetano
  • Juan Miguel Zubiri
  • Joel Villanueva
  • JV Ejercito
  • Risa Hontiveros
  • Jinggoy Estrada

The rest of the candidates under PDP-Laban, under both warring factions, lost.

The other PDP-Laban candidate closest to the Magic 12 is former presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, who got 4,707,110 votes as of 1:56 pm on Tuesday, behind current 12th placer Estrada by more than 10 million votes.

Other bets from the ruling party got the following votes:

  • Rodante Marcoleta – 3,460,430
  • Astra Pimentel – 2,934,742
  • Silvestre Bello Jr. – 1,681,899
  • Rey Langit – 1,333,745
  • Lutgardo Barbo – 739,632
  • John Castriciones – 700,553

Marcoleta has already withdrawn his candidacy, avoiding the one-year ban on appointments for losing candidates. Marcoleta was infamous for his antics as he pushed denying media giant ABS-CBN’s franchise.

Padilla and Panelo were endorsed by Davao Mayor and presumptive vice president Sara Duterte. Duterte has earlier announced that Padilla is part of the Uniteam slate, but it was denied by Marcos spokesman Vic Rodriguez.

Barbo is the only PDP-Laban bet under presidential candidate Manny Pacquiao’s slate.

Castriciones, meanwhile, is part of Manila Mayor Isko Moreno’s senatorial lineup.

In 2016, the President granted Padilla executive clemency. Padilla was convicted in 1994 for illegal possession of firearms. He had been granted a pardon in 1998 by President Fidel Ramos but this did not restore his full civil and political rights. Padilla has been trying to enter politics since 1995 but failed in every local post he vied for.

Two days before the elections, the Comelec decided in favor of the Cusi wing as the “legitimate” camp of the PDP-Laban. The Cusi wing has endorsed the candidacy of now presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr..

PDP-Laban was founded by late senator Nene Pimentel to fight the Marcos dictatorship. Pacquiao wing chairman Senator Koko Pimentel said that they will appeal the Comelec decision. – Rappler.com

Aika Rey

Aika Rey is a business reporter for Rappler. She covered the Senate of the Philippines before fully diving into numbers and companies. Got tips? Find her on Twitter at @reyaika or shoot her an email at aika.rey@rappler.com.