Opposition bets Macalintal, Gutoc & Hilbay accept defeat
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
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.
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Friday, May 17th, 2019
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.
by Maris Federez | Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
Malacañang is elated with the turn out of results for the administration senatorial bets in the 2019 Midterm Elections.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the election result is proof of the public’s positive response to President Rodrigo Duterte’s appeal for support for the people whom he trusts to advocate the laws that the administration is pushing.
“The victory of the administration’s candidates and the shut out of the Otso Diretso candidates send a strong message that our people yearn for stability and continuity of the genuine reforms that the Administration started. They yearn for a constructive – not obstructionist – Senate which will help in crafting the President’s legislative agenda,” Panelo added.
Malacañang, nevertheless, has made the assurance that the Senate will remain independent although it would seem to consist mostly of President Duterte’s allies.
“No Senate has never been under any president. They always rise above parties and considerations where issues involve national interest, national security, and the interest of the Filipino people,” Panelo said.
The Palace official thanked the Otso Diretso candidates for the fair fight in the elections.
He, however, said that the administration hopes that the opposition will respect the decision of the people.
He added that while Malacañang expects the President’s critics to continue with their role as opposition, it also appeals to them to act in accordance with what the constitution provides. (with reports from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf
by Robie de Guzman | Posted on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019
MANILA, Philippines – Is it time for the Ejercito-Estrada clan to take a break from politics?
The clan’s patriarch, former president and reelectionist Manila mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada is losing by a wide margin to mayoral contender Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso.
Based on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) partial, unofficial results as of 3:50 p.m. on Tuesday with 99.06 percent of election returns, Domagoso has garnered 354,327 votes while Estrada got 208,561.
Moreno previously served as vice mayor to Erap from 2013 to 2016. He joined but lost the senatorial race in 2016.
With Erap’s loss came the failed mayoral bid of his granddaughter Janella Ejercito Estrada in San Juan City.
Janella, daughter of senatorial aspirant Jinggoy Estrada, who got 24,813 votes was beaten by former vice mayor Francis Zamora who garnered 35,060 votes.
Zamora’s victory ended the Ejercito-Estrada clan’s nearly 50-year reign in the city. The Estrada clan took hold of San Juan City since 1969 when then popular actor Estrada won as mayor. He was succeeded by his sons Jinggoy and JV Ejercito then JV’s mother Guia Gomez to whom Zamora narrowly lost his bid for mayor in 2016.
The Zamoras and Estradas were family friends for 30 years until Francis and Guia both ran in the mayoralty race in 2016. Francis claimed he was cheated in the election.
Meanwhile, Erap’s nephew ER Ejercito failed in his bid for governor in Laguna against reelectionist governor Ramil Hernandez.
His other nephew, Gary Estrada Ejercito also lost in Cainta, Rizal’s vice mayoralty race against Ace Servillion.
In the senate race, Erap’s sons Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito and Jinggoy Estrada are trailing beyond the top 12. JV is currently at 13th spot with 13,866,130 votes while his brother Jinggoy is at 15th with 11,018,985 votes as of 3:50 pm with 99.06 percent of election returns.
End of an era?
Did the May 13 midterm elections signal the end of a political era for the Estrada-Ejercito clan?
According to political analyst, Professor Edmund Tayao, Erap’s defeat could mean that the Manila voters are looking for a new leader who could bring significant changes to the city.
“Erap was considered as some kind of alternative having been a previous president, so many may have thought he would be a better Mayor compared to [Alfredo] Lim but after two terms there was not much change that happened,” Tayao told UNTV News and Rescue in an interview.
Tayao also believes that the previous rift between JV and Jinggoy have damaged their chances of winning in Senate race.
“Ang naka-contribute pa dito yung masyadong negative campaign, below the belt yung ginawa niya against his own brother, that boomeranged on him,” he said in reference to the half-brothers’ disagreements in the past.
“So, instead of maintaining his supposed advantage over his half-brother, nabaligtad ang pangyayari, mas binoto ng tao si JV Ejercito,” he added.
The two brothers had admitted to a tepid relationship after JV decided to use the Estrada name to boost his political image. Their relationship also turned sour at the height of the 2013 pork barrel scam.
Tayao said that based on his personal assessment of the general election results, Filipino voters seemed to be looking for new names and faces in politics who could deliver positive results.
“What is shown to the general results of the elections which is across the board, nage-experiment ang mga tao, ayaw na nila ng more of the same so they elected a different sort of combination,” he said. (with details from Nel Maribojoc)
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