By Jelly F. Musico
MANILA, May 16 (PNA) – The Commission on Election (Comelec) en banc, sitting as national board of canvassers, proclaimed on Thursday night the top six of the 12 winning senatorial candidates as senators-elect of the May 13 midterm elections.
The newly-proclaimed senators include newcomer Grace Poe-Llamanazares; reelectionists Loren Legarda, Alan Cayetano and Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero; and two other newcomers Nancy Binay and Edgardo ‘Sonny’ Angara.
The partial proclamation was based on the 72 certificates of canvass (COCs) the Comelec has canvassed so far at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).
Poe, daughter of the late Philippine movie king Fernando Poe Jr., surprised everybody including herself after she topped the senatorial race participated by bigwigs in Philippine politics.
The former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chairperson is enjoying more than one million votes lead over 2007 election No. 1 senator Loren Legarda.
Based on the Comelec’s partial and official results as of 5:09pm Thursday, Poe has already garnered 6,978,111 votes while Legarda has 6,405,625 votes in second place.
Cayetano is running third with 5,989,369 votes while Escudero, whose proclamation was witnessed by his showbiz girlfriend Heart Evangelista, is in fourth spot with 5,944,573 votes.
Binay, eldest daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, was no show in the proclamation rally but she has already 5,787,423 votes in fifth place.
Binay ran under the senatorial ticket of United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) which earlier petitioned to stop the partial proclamation but Comelec rejected the plea.
Angara, son of outgoing veteran Senator Edgardo Angara Sr., has already 5,593,601 votes, enjoying over 300,000 lead over fellow Team PNoy senatorial candidate Bam Aquino who is seventh spot with 5,255,177 votes.
So far, completing the top 12 in the ongoing Comelec’s official canvassing, are reelectionist Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III with 5,186,529 votes, reelectionist Antonio Trillanes IV (4,468,187 votes), JV Ejercito (4,939,197 votes), Cynthia Villar (4,833,722 votes) and reelectionist Gregorio ‘Gringo’ Honasan II (4,667,276 votes).
Staying close out of the top 12 are former senator Richard Gordon (4,479,287 votes), Juan Miguel Zuburi (4,164,541) and Cagayan congressman Jack Enrile (4,125,323 votes).
The six proclaimed senatorial candidates also lead the partial and unofficial results where Poe has already garnered 16,303,640 votes and Legarda with 14,908,682 votes.
Escudero dislodged Cayetano for third place in the partial and unofficial results with 14,104,920 votes while Cayetano skidded to fourth spot with 14,097,464 followed by Binay with 13,280,045 and Angara with 12,823,229 votes as of 5:21 p.m. Thursday.
The proclamation was attended by outgoing Senator Angara, Poe’s mother veteran actress Susan Roces, film producer Lily Monteverde, Cayetnao’s wife Taguig City reelected mayor Lani Cayetano and Senator Pia Cayetano.
Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes has earlier said remaining six is expected to be proclaimed by Saturday. (PNA)