Ex-senators, Cabinet exec, broadcaster file COC for Senate seats on ‘11th hour’


The senatorial race in the May 2022 national and local elections may just be beginning to heat up as four incumbent and former senators along with a broadcaster and a newly resigned Cabinet official vie for seats in the upper chamber.

Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Leila de Lima are eyeing another term in the Senate after filing their respective Certificates of Candidacy (COC) on Friday at the Sofitel Harbor Garden Tent in Pasay City.

Gatchalian said he opted to push for a reelection bid under the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), instead of running for vice president after Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio turned down calls for her to seek the presidency in the polls.

“I already said in a previous interview that I will only run for Vice President if she [Mayor Sara] will run for president and she will pick me,” Gatchalian said.

He said he intends to pass legislation to address the “crisis” in education and the economy if his stint in the Senate will be extended.

In the case of de Lima, who is currently detained for a pending drug-related case, her authorized representative Dino de Leon submitted her COC.

In her statement, read by de Leon during a news conference, de Lima said she wants to continue her advocacy on social justice, human rights and criminal justice in the Senate.

She also wants to hold Duterte accountable for the alleged massive corruption under his presidency. De Lima is running under the Liberal Party (LP).

Senate comeback

Meanwhile, former Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Manuel “Noli” de Castro are eyeing a comeback in the Senate.

Trillanes said he decided to set aside his plan to run for vice president in the elections next year after Vice President Leonor “Leni” Robredo decided to join the presidential race.

He said this was in line with the decision of the Magdalo party-list, where he is a member.

“I was never vocal about running for Vice President. I articulated that in several interviews that if VP Leni will run for president, I would run for senator,” Trillanes, who is also running under the LP, explained.

De Castro, who also served as former vice president during the term of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, said he also wants another shot for a seat in the chamber to also help the economy recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said he would support possible moves in Congress to renew the broadcast franchise of ABS-CBN, where he was a long-time broadcast journalist.

“If I will be asked about it, I want it renewed since there are thousands of workers of ABS-CBN who were affected,” de Castro said referring to the decision of the House of Representatives not to renew the franchise of the media network. The veteran broadcast journalist from ABS-CBN said he is running under Aksyon Demokratiko.

Former Mindanao Development Authority and Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” F. Piñol will also join the long list of senatorial aspirants in the 2022 elections.

Piñol said he will be running under the Nationalists People’s Coalition party.

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