Acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar (File photo)

MANILA – Malacañang on Wednesday congratulated the 12 newly proclaimed senators and expressed hope of being able to work closely with them.

“We congratulate the 12 newly proclaimed Senators of the Republic. Our people have elected old and new faces in the Senate, and there is a sense of hope and optimism with the new set of lawmakers,” said acting presidential spokesperson and Communications Secretary Martin Andanar in a press statement.

He enjoined the newly proclaimed senators to be united in pushing for legislation that will help restore economic growth in the country.

“It is now time to move forward after a divisive election campaign and begin the daunting task of speeding up our economic recovery affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Let us work closely together and pray for our nation’s success,” he added.

The 12 winning senatorial candidates are Robin Padilla, Loren Legarda, Raffy Tulfo, Sherwin Gatchalian, Francis Escudero, Mark Villar, Alan Peter Cayetano, Juan Miguel Zubiri, Joel Villanueva, Jospeh Victor “JV” Ejercito, Risa Hontiveros, and Jinggoy Estrada.

Hontiveros is the lone opposition candidate who won in the May 9 elections. This is her second time being elected as a senator.

This year, 63 candidates joined the senatorial race.

However, a total of 64 names are listed on the ballot because Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta dropped his senatorial bid under the coalition of UniTeam.

The Senate of the Philippines or the upper house of Congress is composed of 24 senators

A senator earns PHP273,278 monthly, according to the Department of Budget and Management. (PNA)