MANILA, Philippines — The 2019 midterm elections could be described as a “Duterte avalanche” based on how administration-backed senatorial bets fared in partial and unofficial results, reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara said Wednesday.
“It’s kind of a Duterte avalanche. I think if you look at the results I think that would summarize it,” Angara said in an interview over ABS CBN News Channel when asked to share his thoughts on the 2019 polls.
He noted how none of the opposition bets were able to enter the Magic 12, adding that those were not endorsed by the administration would likely be members of the Senate majority of the 18th Congress.
“If you look at the winners, the opposition did not produce a single candidate and the three non-members of the admin coalition, whether HNP and PDP-Laban, were also probably members of the majority,” the senator said.
Angara himself, who is endorsed by the administration, placed sixth in the partial and unofficial results, garnering more than 17 million votes, based on the latest update of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).
Other candidates endorsed by President Rodrigo Duterte who were able to secure a spot in the Magic 12 were former presidential aide Bong Go, former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Bato dela Rosa, reelectionist senators Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Cynthia Villar, former presidential adviser for political affairs Francis Tolentino, Taguig Rep. Pia Cayetano, and former Ilocos Norte governor Imee Marcos.
Angara, however, dismissed the “balimbing” or turncoat tag against him, saying that he has been a member of the same party ever since.
“They probably assumed I was member of Liberal Party because I was elected on the Noynoy coalition in 2013,” he said.
“They tend to think simply in terms of admin and opposition. They don’t know that this is a multi-party system with six or seven parties and every three or six years, nira-rumble rumble yan and the coalition kind of disassemble and assemble again,” Angara explained.
He also explained he sided with the administration during the 2019 elections because he wanted to “work constructively” with the Duterte administration since he “liked” what the government did in its first three years.
Independent or ‘Yes’ Senate?
It’s difficult to say that the 18th Congress would become a “Yes” Senate even as eight administration-backed candidates are poised to claim Senate seats, Angara said.
He pointed out that the Duterte administration already has a “supermajority” of 17 senators, yet it hasn’t been “smooth sailing” for bills that is pushed by the administration.
“No. It’s difficult to say that. Don’t forget, the President has already a supermajority of 17 senators,” the senator said when asked if the incoming 18th Congress senators will become “Yes” legislators to the President.
“It hasn’t really been smooth sailing with all these bills which were initially pushed by the President because they’re tackled on their own merits and senators tend to have their own positions,” he added. (Editor: Jonathan P. Vicente)
See the bigger picture with the Inquirer’s live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019
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