THE SENATORIAL RACE: Record numbers and strange allies

Here’s how today’s Senatorial race looks like.

The electorate will choose from a list of 62 hopefuls vying for 12 Senate seats. Compared to previous Senatorial elections, this year’s race has the biggest number of candidates by far. The previous high was during the 2010 polls with 61 aspirants.

Out of the 62 Senatoriables, 51 are men and 11 are women. Seven of these candidates are reelectionists seeking a second term while another seven are seeking a return to the Senate.

Among them are 7 reelectionists looking for a second term in the Senate. They are Senators Sonny Angara, Bam Aquino, Nancy Binay, JV Ejercito, Koko Pimentel, Grace Poe and Cynthia Villar. Another 7 candidates are seeking a Senate comeback like Pia Cayetano, Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Lito Lapid, Serge Osmena, Bong Revilla and Mar Roxas.

There are also the eight hard-luck candidates who ran but never won in Senate races since 1987 and are trying again this time. The first timers are 40 candidates which included eight who have held local posts and six candidates who have held appointive posts or served in the Duterte administration. Four candidates have held appointive posts in previous administrations without experience in elective posts while thirteen candidates are incumbent or former members of the House of Representatives.

Curiously, there are varying senatorial slates being pushed by the administration and its allies–one has 13 or one over the 12 slots to be filled, and one has 11 or one less than the 12 slots needed. The opposition has an ‘incomplete’ slate of 8.

PDP-Laban, President Rodrigo Duterte’s party, has 5 candidates. Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), formed by presidential daughter and Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, interestingly has 13 senatorial candidates. President Duterte also has his own slate, called “Du It Pilipinas” which has 11 candidates.

Carrying the fight for the opposition is the group called “Otso Diretso,” with 8 candidates from the Liberal Party and its allies.

Thirteen candidates has names starting with letter A while 3 have Chinese-sounding names in (Bong) Go, (Glenn) Chong and (Willie) Ong.

Two have names that sound alike in (Dong) Mangudadatu and (Faisal) Mangondato.