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Opposition bets Macalintal, Gutoc & Hilbay accept defeat

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

(L-R) Atty. Romulo Macalintal, Samira Gutoc and former solicitor general, Pilo Hilbay | Courtesy: Facebook

Several Otso Diretso senatorial candidates on Tuesday accepted their defeat in the 2019 midterm elections.

Election Lawyer Romulo Macalintal was the first opposition bet to concede after lagging in the 26th spot in the partial unofficial count as of Tuesday morning.

“It is clear that a great majority of our voters have chosen other candidates.  And I respect their decision as I concede defeat in this senatorial race,” Macalintal said in a statement.

He also expressed gratitude to his fellow Otso Diretso candidates and all his supporters who believed in him. Macalintal vowed he will continue to serve them even if he failed to win a senate seat.

“Ako po ay taos-pusong nagpapasalamat sa lahat ng mga taong naniwala sa aking kakayahan na maging Senador ng ating bansa,” he said.

Former Solicitor General Pilo Hilbay followed suit in waving the white flag against Administration-backed senatorial candidates.

“The will of the people is supreme, so we respect the results of the elections. Congratulations to all the winners, may you serve the country well,” he said in a statement.

“Puno ako ng pasasalamat sa kampanyang ito – sa aking pamilya at mga kaibigan, kay VP Leni Robredo at Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, sa lahat ng kandidato ng Otso Diretso at kanilang mga teams, sa aking maliit na campaign team, at sa lahat ng mga Pilipinong naniwalang ang isang Batang Tondong kagaya natin ay nararapat manalo,” he added.

He also thanked all those who believed in him, saying he will never forget their unrivaled passion, brilliance and sacrifices.

“To all our HILBAYanihan volunteers: You all did whatever it took, and whatever you could. I am sorry that our resources did not match your brilliance, your heart, and your hope,” he said.

“This is not the result we hoped for, but it is the reality that we have to face with the optimism that we will have better days,” he added.

Similarly, Samira Gutoc expressed her gratitude to all her supporters in a recorded video message.

She also likened her election loss to the bar exams that she failed to pass despite taking it thrice.

“I am alright despite you know what happened ganun naman talaga eh just like my 3 bar exams… Anyway, to everyone who helped me, who voted for me, thank you talaga,” she said.

Gutoc, Hilbay and Macalintal placed outside of top 20 along with the rest of Otso Diretso bets: human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, Magdalo Party-list Rep. Gary Alejano and former Congressman Erin Tañada.

Reelectionist Senator Bam Aquino is trailing at the 14th spot with 13,707,133 as of 11:26 am partial unofficial count. Former Senator Mar Roxas, meanwhile, is poised for a third loss in a national race at 16th place with 9,536,694 votes.

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Outgoing senators reveal plans after Senate

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2019

Upper row: (L-R ) Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Bam Aquino, Francis Escudero Lower row: (L-R) Senators Gringo Honasan, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Loren Legarda

MANILA, Philippines – Six senators of the 17th Congress are soon to leave the Senate.

Senators Francis Escudero, Gringo Honasan, Loren Legarda and Antonio Trillanes IV have until June 30 to serve their last term.

Senators Bam Aquino and Joseph Victor Ejercito, meanwhile, needed to leave following their defeat in the 2019 midterm polls.

Escudero may be leaving the Senate but he remains in public office after winning as governor of Sorsogon.

Legarda, likewise, is shifting to local governance after being proclaimed as the new representative of Antique.

For his part, Honasan said he is still hoping for President Rodrigo Duterte’s appointment of him as head of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT).

“It’s up in the air. That will be decided after June 30 by the appointing authority,” Honasan said.

Meanwhile, Senators Aquino and Ejercito said that their next plan to enjoy their private lives with their respective families.

“Ngayon ang ating destiny ay maiba hindi man magpatuloy dito. I guess na mahalaga right now just to take steps back. Spend more time with your kids and try to determine how to help the country in other ways,” Aquino said.

“Maraming paraan para tumulong sa ating bayan,” he added.

“Tulungan ko muna ang wife ko sa mga businesses naming,” Ejercito said when asked about his plans following his exit from Senate.

He admitted, however, that he regretted the outcome of running against his brother Jinggoy Estrada.

“Ang regrets ko…ang pinakamabigat kong problema yung dalawa kaming magkapatid na tumakbo,” Ejercito said.

“Sana kinausap ko na lang. Nag-usap kami ng father ko, ng pamilya na nasabi ko na sana ang aking concern. Ilang beses ko sinabi na ito ang mangyayari na pwede kaming mahila lahat pababa. Exactly ito  na nga ang nangyari,” he added.

Trillanes, meanwhile, said he is thinking of going back to school.

The controversial senator earlier said he will remain critical of the Duterte administration even outside of Senate. — Marje Pelayo (with reports from Nel Maribojoc)

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LP president Kiko Pangilinan resigns due to Otso Diretso defeat

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

FILE PHOTO: Liberal Party (LP) President Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan

UPDATE: Congressman Kit Belmonte also has resigned as LP Secretary General.

Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan has resigned as Liberal Party (LP) president after holding himself accountable for the defeat of Otso Diretso in the elections.

“As campaign manager for the Otso Diretso slate, I was unable to ensure our victory in the elections and I therefore assume full responsibility for the outcome and hold myself primarily accountable for this defeat and have tendered my resignation as president of the LP effective June 30, 2019,” Pangilinan said in a news release.

Pangilinan already handed his resignation letter to LP Chairperson Vice President Leni Robredo.

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Opposition supporters question Comelec over alleged anomalies

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Friday, May 17th, 2019

Members of Tindig Pilipinas and the Silent Majority protesting the technical glitches that were encountered during the May 13, 2019 polls Courtesy : FB page of Now You Know

MANILA, Philippines – Supporters of the opposition group on Friday questioned the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on alleged anomalies in the May 13 midterm elections.

Members of Tindig Pilipinas and the Silent Majority gathered in front of the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City where the Comelec is canvassing votes for the senatorial and party-list elections.

The groups were protesting the technical glitches that were encountered during the polls, such as defective secure digital (SD) cards and vote-counting machines (VCM), as well as the seven-hour delay in transmitting data from Comelec’s transparency server.

Members of said cause-oriented groups, who were chanting “what happened to the midterm elections, Comelec?” repeatedly during their picket, were also demanding the poll body to explain the alleged irregularities that cast doubts on the credibility of the midterm polls.

They also sought to question the poll body for its alleged mishandling and inaction of supposed anomalies observed, including the designation of Nacionalista Party as the minority party, the disenfranchisement of voters, and the “blatant commission” of pre-campaign and campaign violations of some candidates such as electioneering and vote-buying.

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