What to expect in #TheFilipinoVotes: Senatorial Forum


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) plans to release in December the official list of candidates for the May 2019 midterm elections.

There are 18,095 posts up for grabs. These are:

  • 12 in the Senate
  • 243 in the House of Representatives
  • 60 partylist representatives
  • 81 for governor
  • 81 for vice governor
  • 780 seats for members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan
  • 145 city mayoral seats
  • 145 city vice mayoral seats
  • 1,628 seats for Sangguniang Panlungsod members
  • 1,489 for municipal mayoral
  • 1,489 for municipal vice mayoral
  • 11,916 seats for Sangguniang Bayan members
  • 1 seat for governor of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)
  • 1 seat for ARMM vice governor,  and
  • 24 seats in the  ARMM regional assembly.

The Comelec said there are more than 2.5 million new voters who have registered for next year's elections. That would bring the total number of registered voters nationwide to a projected 60 to 61 million voters, including the estimated 1.9 million Filipino voters overseas.

For the senatorial race, 152 aspirants filed their certificates of candidacy but only 148 were included Comelec's tentative list of candidates.

Let's get to know eight of the senatorial candidates in the first of a CNN Philippines series of senatorial fora on Sunday:


Gary Alejano.jpg FILE PHOTO  

Representative Gary Alejano of the Magdalo Party-list Group filed an impeachment complaint against President Rodrigo Duterte. This was dismissed by the House of Representatives in a show of support by the so-called supermajority.

An advocate of national security and good governance, Alejano is one of the key legislators behind the law creating the Department of Information and Communications Technology, and the Mental Health Act.

He is running under the Liberal Party.


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Incumbent Senator Bam Aquino is seeking a second term under the Liberal Party.

The minority senator has 19 laws under his belt, including the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act which pushes for free tuition in state universities, colleges and technical-vocational institutions.

He has expressed strong sentiments on the impact of the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion Law or TRAIN. He slammed a recent recommendation to reverse the suspension of fuel excise taxes under TRAIN, and called for the enactment of the "Bawas Presyo sa Petrolyo Bill."


Bato-dela-Rosa_CNNPH.png Former Bureau of Corrections chief Ronald Dela Rosa filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) at around 11:00 a.m.  

Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa gained popularity as the first Philippine National Police chief under Duterte's term. He was the President's former police chief in Davao City  when the President was mayor, and has been the face of the administration's campaign against illegal drugs under "Oplan Tokhang."

He previously expressed interest in running for governor of Davao del Sur, but he said the President instructed him to go for a national seat.

In April, he was appointed as Bureau of Corrections chief.


Imee-Marcos-Chel-Diokno-COC-Filing_CNNPH.jpg De La Salle University College of Law Dean Chel Diokno, a martial law victim, files his certificate of candidacy for senator next to Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos.  

Human rights lawyer Atty. Chel Diokno belongs to the Liberal Party, and is the current  dean of the De La Salle University's College of Law.

He is the son of former Senator Jose Pepe Diokno. He was a member of the Presidential Human Rights Committee under Presidents Corazon Aquino and Fidel Ramos. He was among the three candidates endorsed by Vice President Leni Robredo and former President Benigno Aquino III.


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JV Ejercito wants to continue his advocacies of local housing, better education system and the welfare of the Filipino youth in the Senate.

He is the son of former President Joseph Estrada and was previously a representative and mayor of San Juan.

In September, the re-electionist senator said he would likely leave his father's political party.

If elected, he wants to push for infrastructure development and transport modernization.


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The 94-year-old veteran lawmaker is going for a Senate comeback.

The former senate president says he can still meet the demands of the job despite his age. 

Enrile is out on bail from charges of plunder in the pork barrel scam. He was released in 2015 for humanitarian reasons.


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Former Senator Serge Osmeña is an independent candidate. The senator was elected in 1995 and re-elected in 2001 and 2010, but was defeated in the 2016 polls.

Comelec's Campaign Finance Office has recommended Osmeña's perpetual disqualification from public office for failing to report his campaign expenses twice.

Among his key legislation are Republic Act 9346 abolishing the death penalty in 2006, and the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons.



Former Presidential Political Adviser Francis Tolentino is going to try for a Senate seat for a second time after losing to Senator Leila de Lima in for the 12th slot in the 2016 polls. He accused the detained seantor of electoral fraud. .

The former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority head is running  under the administration party, PDP-Laban.

To get to know more about the candidates and their advocacies, catch CNN Philippines' special presentation, "The Filipino Votes: Senatorial Forum" on Sunday, December 2 at 5 p.m.