MANILA – A total of 12 Senate seats will be contested by 64 neophytes and reelectionists in the May 9 elections to join the remaining 12 in the 19th Congress.
Senators Sonny Angara, Nancy Binay, Pia Cayetano, Ronald dela Rosa, Bong Go, Lito Lapid, Imee Marcos, Koko Pimentel, Grace Poe, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, and Cynthia Villar will end their six-year terms in 2025.
The other 12, who were elected in 2016, are composed of last-termers Senate President Vicente Sotto III, and Senators Ralph Recto and Franklin Drilon who are not eligible for reelected as they conclude their second consecutive six-year term; Senators Panfilo Lacson, Manny Pacquiao, and Francis Pangilinan who are eligible for reelection but chose to target higher positions; and reelectionists Senators Joel Villanueva, Risa Hontiveros, Richard Gordon, Leila de Lima, Sherwin Gatchalian, and Miguel Zubiri.
Lacson and Pacquiao are running for president while Sotto and Pangilinan are aiming for the vice presidency.
Meanwhile, Recto is eyeing the Batangas 6th District congressional post while Drilon has decided to retire.
"I'm not running for any position, I have served enough, I think I have contributed. Let's give others a chance," Drilon said in a recent online forum.
Meanwhile, former senators eyeing a return to the Upper Chamber are Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero, Antique Lone District Representative Loren Legarda, Taguig-Pateros Representative Allan Peter Cayetano, former Department of Information and Communications Secretary Gregorio Honasan, siblings Jinggoy Estrada and JV Ejercito, and Antonio Trillanes IV.
Villanueva, Zubiri, Escudero, Legarda, Cayetano, Honasan, Estrada, and Ejercito are among the 17 senatorial candidates endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Duterte had repeatedly urged voters not to re-elect "opportunist" senators.
"Ang hinihingi ko sa taumbayan, ‘yung lahat na senador -- ito kung pagbigyan lang ninyo ako -- ‘yung lahat ng senador tumatakbo talunin ninyo. Huwag ninyong ibalik sa Senado kasi magdaldal nang magdaldal na rin ‘yan at mag-show off, parang magyabang (My advice to the public, if they want to heed my advice, is don’t let some of the reelectionist senators win. Don’t reelect them to the Senate because they would just keep talking and showing off. It’s like boasting),” he said in one episode of “Talk to the People”.
Duterte himself opted to run as senator but withdrew later on, saying he would just retire from politics after his term ends in June. (PNA)