For 3rd time, Mar Roxas is rejected at polls

Mara Cepeda

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For 3rd time, Mar Roxas is rejected at polls

maria Salvador Tan

Ranked number 16 based on partial and unofficial results from 96.3% of precincts nationwide, Roxas' performance is a far cry from when he topped the senatorial race in 2004

MANILA, Philippines – Former interior secretary Mar Roxas is not going to be a senator this time, based on partial and unofficial results as of Wednesday, May 15.

Roxas got a total of 9,660,585 votes, based on partial and unofficial results from the Commission on Elections transparency server as of 12:19 pm Wednesday, with 96.3% of total precincts reporting.

Roxas was at 16th place, a far cry from 2004 when he topped the senatorial race then with more than 19 million votes.

Above him at number 15 is Jinggoy Estrada – who was ahead of Roxas by 1.457 million votes as of Wednesday noon.

This is Roxas’ 3rd straight loss in a national election, which also happened on May 13, when he turned 62.

Roxas ran for vice president in 2010 but lost to then-Makati mayor Jejomar Binay. A year after, Roxas joined the Cabinet of then-president Benigno Aquino III, his standard-bearer during the 2010 elections. His last post was secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government under Aquino.

During the 2016 presidential polls, Roxas got over 9.9 million votes, placing a distant second to then-Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who got over 16.6 million votes.

Roxas stayed within the winners’ circle in preelection surveys for months until April, when he was kicked out of the Magic 12. It was downhill from there.

No opposition senatorial bet won the Senate race too, based on the same count Wednesday morning.

Edwin Lacierda, former Malacañang spokesperson and one of Roxas’ closest advisers, said they have no choice but to move forward from this loss.

“It was a good fight. Many gave their all. No one can doubt the resolve of the Otso Diretso candidates and the thousands of volunteers,” Lacierda tweeted on Tuesday, May 14.

“As in every loss, we fall but we pick ourselves up, we dust off the dirt, and we walk again with heads up high knowing …. we fought a good fight!” he added.

As of posting, Roxas himself is yet to make any statements about the results.

Other Otso Diretso candidates have already conceded defeat except for Roxas and reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino, whom their colleagues are still hoping would make it to the winners’ circle once all results come in.

Roxas was a reluctant candidate, announcing his second bid for senator as the week of filing of certificates of candidacy in October 2018 was already underway.

He was also barely seen with Otso Diretso, only showing up together with the other 7 candidates 3 times during the official campaign period.

Roxas was off running his own campaign, where he had to defeat the ghosts of his 2016 presidential bid.

He was also gone from the campaign trail for almost 3 weeks. Roxas said he does not regret this, because he had to spend time with his newborn twins Pepe and Pilar. –


Follow Rappler’s full coverage of the 2019 Philippine elections here.

Check this Rappler page for real-time election results.

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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.