Legislative and local elections
were held in the Philippines
on May 14
. Positions being contested include half the seats in the Senate
, which are elected for six-year terms, and all the seats in the House of Representatives
, who are elected for three-year terms. The duly elected legislators of the 2007 elections will join the elected senators of the 2004 elections
and will comprise the 14th Congress of the Philippines
Most representatives win seats by being elected directly, the constituency being a geographical district comprising of about 250,000 voters. There are 220 seats in total for all the legislative districts.
Some representatives are elected under a party-list system. Only parties representing marginalized groups are allowed to run in the party-list election. To gain one seat, a party must win 2% of the vote. No party-list party may have more than 3 seats. After the election, in a controversial decision, COMELEC changed how it allocates the party-list seats. Under the new formula only one party will have the maximum 3 seats. It based its decision on a formula contained in a Supreme Court decision.
Local elections for governor, vice governor, provincial board seats and mayoral, vice mayoral and city/municipal council seats in Metro Manila and the provinces are up for grabs as well.
On March 19
, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) released Resolution No.7832
which finalized and approved the official candidates for the senatorial election. On March 29
the Commission on Elections certified 37 Senatorial Candidates:
COMELEC issues and COMELEC building fire
On March 11, 2007, the Old COMELEC Building in Intramuros, Manila was burned by a blazing fire ruining several ballot boxes and election protests at the time of 12:57pm (UTC +8). The Genuine Opposition considered the fire as political act which ended in burning of several election protests and contested ballot boxes. Investigators found out that instead of arson, it was the generator of the building which caused and since the building was built with tar and wood it would easily razed by fire. The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is facing scrutiny because of the fire that hit its old building on March 11 resulting in speculations of conspiracies to cheat on the May 14 elections The COMELEC was also lambasted for publishing on the internet the names, addresses and details of registered voters.
The Aquino issue
Three people with the name Aquino
filed their candidacies (Benigno Aquino III
, Teresa Aquino-Oreta
and Theodore Aquino
), and there was confusion as to who is credited with a vote if someone wrote only "Aquino" on the ballot. Since Theodore Aquino was disqualified because he had dual citizenship and former Sen. Teresa "Tessie" Aquino-Oreta has the last name Oreta, COMELEC ruled that all votes with only the name Aquino
would go to Tarlac Rep. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.
All three Aquinos are related to each other.
The Cayetano issue
The matter was the same as the Aquino issue. Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano found out that a certain Joselito Pepito "Peter" Cayetano belonging to the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan filed his candidacy with the nickname "Peter" which was really "Jojo". Alan therefore filed a disqualification case (SPA 07-019) against Jojo. Jojo was declared a nuisance candidate by the COMELEC resolution on March 27
Jojo then filed for a motion for reconsideration which was eventually rejected on May 11, 2007 but COMELEC did not remove his name from the Official List of Senatorial Candidates and ruled on May 12, 2007 that all votes with only the name "CAYETANO" will be stray votes (discarded) and therefore not counted to either the candidates until Supreme Court resolved the matter. The COMELEC said that Jojo could file a motion for reconsideration at the Supreme Court within five days.
Sen. Richard J. Gordon
and his fellow Senators succeeded in passing Republic Act No. 9369
or the Amending the Election Modernization Act
but it was too late since it was passed three months before the elections but since the law was passed, the elections for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Regional Governor and Vice-Governor later in August 2008 it will be used for the test-run for computerization and the general elections in 2010
for the nationwide computerization of elections.
Lakas vs. KAMPI
President and House Speaker Jose de Venecia
was challenged by Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino
or KAMPI Cebu 2nd District Rep. Pablo P. Garcia
for the speakership in the incoming 14th Congress of the Philippines
which has caused a battle between Administration allies. Recently, Garcia was accused by Parañaque City
1st District Rep. Eduardo Ziacita
and Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido Abante, Jr.
both under the party Lakas-CMD
of using Government Service Insurance System
or GSIS pension funds care of Garcia's son GSIS Vice-Chairman, General Manager and President Winston Garcia
to bribe congressmen of PHP
300,000 to 400,000 to support his father's speakership bid.
The 14th Congress of the Philippines
The COMELEC has proclaimed 12 senators for the Incoming 14th Congress. Last slot was given to Former Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri
who is the first Senator from Bukidnon
. His rival Aquilino Pimentel III
has filed already an election sabotage case against COMELEC at the Supreme Court and on July 24
and an electoral protest at the Senate Electoral Tribunal
The top 12 candidates are elected into the 14th Congress of the Philippines
and will comprise one-half of the 24-seat Senate. They will have 6-year terms and will serve up to the 15th Congress
However, the Senate seat of Alfredo Lim will be ipso facto vacated for the next 3 years of his unexpired term beginning June 30, 2007 owing to his election as mayor of Manila. Eminent Justice Isagani Cruz suggested that the 13th placer in the senatorial elections be proclaimed as winner for the 3-year term not served by Senator Lim.
Coalitions and political parties
TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) Unity is a coalition composed mostly of supporters and erstwhile critics of current Philippine president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. TEAM Unity seeks to take several Senate seats in order to ensure the passage of President Arroyo's legislative programs and also to protect her from any impeachment attempts by the political opposition after the midterm elections. Team Unity is composed by different major political parties in the country such as the Coalition of Administrative Political Party (CAPP), Lakas-Christian-Muslim Democrats (Lakas-CMD), Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (KAMPI), Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), and the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP). The campaign team of TEAM Unity is headed by veteran political strategist Reli German (campaign manager), Tourism Secretary Ace Durano (spokesperson) and Ike Rodriguez (campaign director). TEAM Unity has recently held its proclamation rally at the Cebu Coliseum last February 17.
The United Opposition
Coalition was created by Makati City
Mayor Jejomar Binay
on June 2005
to unite all politicians who wish to impeach Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo
. The UNO started scouting candidates for the Senate as early as October 2006 to claim a large share in the Senate seats. On January 2007, UNO started short listing its nominees after a large number of interested personalities wanted to join the opposition. The UNO changed its name on February 12, 2007, at the Club Filipino in San Juan, Metro Manila
to "Grand and Broad Coalition" (GBC). On February 15, 2007, the group changed its named again to "Genuine Opposition
" (GO) after a meeting with Senate President Manny Villar in his office in Las Piñas
. Though Senate President Manny Villar is running under the Opposition, he remains an independent candidate as in the 2001 election
. On February 28, 2007, the Genuine Opposition dropped Francis Pangilinan as its Adopted Candidate due to his insistence to run as an Independent and his failure to join opposition sorties.
The GO had its proclamation rally at Plaza Miranda, Quiapo, Manila on February 25, 2007.
- 12 January to 12 February - Senatorialbles files their certificates of candidacy.
- 23 January - Republic Act No. 9369 is passed into law to modernized the electoral voting system for the Barangay and SK Elections in October 29 and for the General Elections in 2010.
- 13 February - Official campaign started for senatorial and party-list positions.
- 11 March - Old COMELEC Building in Intramuros, Manila was burned by a blazing fire ruining several ballot boxes and election protests at the time of 12:57pm (UTC +8).
- 27 March - Joselito Pepito "Peter" Cayetano, the namesake of Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano was disqualified by the COMELEC but appeals on April 2.
- 30 March - Official campaign started for all local positions.
- 12 May - Official campaign ended for all positions.
- 14 April to 14 May 15:00 Philippine Time (+8 GMT) - Overseas Absentee Voting.
- 11 May - Joselito Cayetano, the namesake of Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano was disqualified by the COMELEC with finality.
- 12 May - COMELEC ruled that the "CAYETANO" votes would discarded and not be counted since Joselito Cayetano will file a motion at the Supreme Court.
- 13 May - Drinking of liquor, and giving, accepting free transportation, food, drinks and things of value by candidates are prohibited.
- 14 May 07:00 to 15:00 Philippine Time (+8 GMT) - Election Day
- 15 May - Exit polls are announced.
- 15 May - COMELEC admits that election forms were stolen from its storage facility at U.N. Avenue, Manila.
- '''15 May - NAMFREL starts their quick counts.
- 15 May - Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano files an election protest against his namesake at the Supreme Court.
- 16 May to 26 May - National Board of Canvassers convene the canvass the election returns both from the local and the overseas diplomatic posts.
- 16 May - COMELEC Chairman Benjamin Abalos, Sr. tells TV networks to stop media counts but most TV networks stopped their counts on May 15.
- 16 May - Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano felt sad because voters were putting the "Cayetano" vote on the citizens' voting list. Voters re-vote on the next day for Alan Peter Cayetano's name.
- 26 May to 27 May - Special Elections are held some areas in the ARMM.
- 31 May - TEAM Unity Senatorial Candidate Michael Defensor concedes defeat in the 2007 Elections during a press conference at the Sulo Hotel in Quezon City.
- 1 June - Incumbent Sen. Alfredo Lim won for mayor of Manila. In the 14th Congress, one senator have 1 vacant and will have the total of 23 senators from 2007 to 2010.
- 4 June - The 13th Congress of the Philippines reconvenes for its final three session days and its centennial plenary session from June 4 to June 6 and June 7.
- 4 June - After the Supreme Court dismissed rebellion cases against the Batasan 6, ANAKPAWIS Party-list Rep. Crispin Beltran is released from the Philippine Heart Center and attend the final sessions of the 13th Congress.
- 4 June - During a privilege speech in the Philippine Senate, TEAM Unity Senatorial candidate and incumbent Senator Ralph Recto concedes defeat in 2007 Elections.
- 5 June - Like re-electionist Senator Recto, Surigao del Sur Rep. Pichay, Jr. concedes defeat as well.
- 6 June - Partial proclamation of the winning Senatorial Candidates whose ranking are from one to ten (6 GO, 2 TU, 2 Ind, and 0 Other Parties).
- 14 June - Partial proclamation of winning Senatorial Candidate Lt. Senior Grade Antonio Trillanes IV whose ranking is in the eleventh place.
- 29 June - The Supreme Court junked the petition of GO Senatorial Candidate Atty. Aquilino Pimentel III to issue a temporary restraining order for the COMELEC not to count the election returns from Maguindanao.
- 29 June - Election returns from Maguindanao were counted.
- 30 June - Inauguration of all positions who won in the general elections though the COMELEC has not proclaimed 12th Senator to composed the in-coming 14th Congress of the Philippines.
- 1 July - Maguindanao Provincial Election Supervisor Atty. Lintang Bedol was arrested under the orders of COMELEC since he threatened the COMELEC to sue him and losing the Provincial Election Returns of Maguindanao. He immediately took a flight from Davao City to Manila.
- 14 July - Former Bukidnon 1st District Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri was officially proclaimed as the 12th winner of the May 14 senatorial elections by the COMELEC.
- 23 July - The 14th Congress will start its First Regular Session.
Among the issues are the on-going efforts by the Administration and others to amend the Philippine Constitution
to shift the country from an bicameral
and presidential system
to a unicameral
and parliamentary system
, and by the opposition led by the Nationalist People's Coalition
(NPC), the PDP-Laban
and the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino
(PMP) to oust President Arroyo through various means. The opposition in this case includes the UNO as well as other groups and individuals not in the UNO. The UNO is now known as the GO (see above).
In the lead up to the election and on election day, 126 people were killed and 148 others wounded by election-related violence. This is less than the 2004 election
, when 189 people were killed. The New People's Army
has been implicated in the destruction of polling booths
and the murder of election officials. The election was regarded by Director General Oscar Calderon
of the Philippine National Police
as relatively peaceful, "We have noted a relatively peaceful situation nationwide, and I am confident that this will be the ultimate outcome until after the entire election process is completed".
Candidates continue to make use of different campaign platforms to win. Prospero Pichay, Manny Villar, Mike Defensor, and Loren Legarda have been very visible in TV ads. Kiko Pangilinan preferred to run as an Independent and decided not to participate in sortees and campaign of the Genuine Opposition, even though he was initially drafted as a guest candidate. Tessie Aquino Oreta has raised different reactions in her TV ad campaign asking the people’s forgiveness being the “dancing queen” during the impeachment of deposed President Joseph Estrada. Some candidates like Chiz Escudero
, Vic Magsaysay
, Kiko Pangilinan
, Joker Arroyo
, Antonio Trillanes
and Koko Pimentel
made use of the internet by joining networks sites like Friendster; making or updating Wikipedia entries, establishing blogs and websites
and airing the commercials on YouTube.
After a month on the campaign trail, financial problems are hounding both the administration and opposition candidates. Team Unity senatorial bets Cesar Montano and Sultan Jamalul Kiram III are reportedly backing out of the race. Both of them said that they are not backing out of the race and its was just that they are having some financial problems. Likewise, Genuine Opposition campaign manager JV Ejercito said that their resources are already running out because only his father, deposed President Joseph Estrada is funding their campaign. Another problem for the GO is the frequent cancellation of their provincial sorties due to lack of local coordinators that will bring people into their rallies. During the day of the elections itself, it was reported that many voters' names were mixed up or removed from the registries at ballot stations, causing much consternation. It was also reported that several areas in Maguindanao were completely overrun by vote-buying, both on the local and national levels.
Failure of elections
The following areas will be having special elections after the COMELEC designated the following areas as failure of elections:
||Special Elections Date |
| Bayang, Lumbatan, Madalum, Binidayan, Pualas, Sultan Dumalondong, Lumba-Bayabao, Masiu, Kapai, Lumbayanague, Butig, Marogong and Kapatagan in Lanao del Sur
|| May 26-27, 2007 |
| Tandubas, Tawi-Tawi
||June 20, 2007
| Indanan, Sulu |
| Barangay Pinagbayanan, Taysan, Batangas |
| Taraka, Tamparan, Marantao, Lumbaca-Unayan, Pagayawan, Tubaran, Ganassi and Marawi City in Lanao del Sur |
| Barira and Kabuntalan, Shariff Kabunsuan |
| Akbar and Sumisip, Basilan |
| Pantar, Lanao del Norte
|| July 23, 2007 |
| Pantao Ragat, Lanao del Norte
|| July 26, 2007 |
Official COMELEC results for national results aren't expected to be completed until early June.
Here are the different summaries of the results in the senatorial elections. Only the COMELEC tally is official.
|| Pulse Asia
|| GMA |
|| 7 |
|| 4 |
|| 1 |
|| 0 |
It is interesting to note that no unofficial tally correctly predicted the 7-3-2 result.
- Official as of 10:00 a.m. July 14, 2007 (UTC+8)
Numbers in percentages. Conducted by ABS-CBN
and Pulse Asia
|| Pulse Asia |
|Villar, Manuel Jr.,
|Aquino, Benigno Simeon III
|Trillanes, Antonio IV
|Zubiri, Juan Miguel
|Cayetano, Alan Peter
|| 31.0 |
|Pichay, Prospero Jr.
|| 30.4 |
|Pimentel, Aquilino III
|| 28.5 |
|| 28.4 |
|| 28.2 |
|Sotto, Vicente III
|| 26.2 |
|| 24.0 |
|Osmeña, John Henry
|| 21.6 |
|| 19.9 |
|Coseteng, Anna Dominique
|| 14.8 |
|| 11.6 |
|| 11.6 |
|| 8.9 |
|Kiram, Jamalul III
|| 6.6 |
|| 3.0 |
|| 2.9 |
|| 2.6 |
|| 1.7 |
|Paredes, Zosimo Jesus II
|| 1.6 |
|| 1.4 |
|| 1.4 |
|| 1.1 |
|| 0.7 |
|| 0.7 |
|| 0.3 |
NASSA-NAMFREL quick count
- Partial and Unofficial - 197,084 of 224,748 precincts or 87.69% of total precincts. June 2, 2007 11:41 p.m. Batch 43.
Source: NAMFRELPHILIPPINES.org website
|| NAMFREL |
|| 15,200,169 |
|| 14,926,697 |
|| 12,880,049 |
||Villar, Manuel Jr.
|| 12,537,728 |
||Aquino, Benigno Simeon III
|| 11,965,505 |
|| 11,930,557 |
|| 10,403,534 |
||Cayetano, Alan Peter
|| 9,691,262 |
|| 9,636,150 |
|| 9,618,637 |
||Trillanes, Antonio IV
|| 9,248,609 |
||Pimentel, Aquilino III
|| 8,985,408 |
||Zubiri, Juan Miguel
|| 8,811,731 |
|| 8,599,532 |
|| 8,075,073 |
||Pichay, Prospero Jr.
|| 7,938,313 |
|| 7,027,063 |
|| 6,444,301 |
||Osmeña, John Henry
|| 6,095,478 |
||Sotto, Vicente III
|| 6,082,898 |
|| 5,269,394 |
||Coseteng, Anna Dominique
|| 4,408,406 |
|| 3,481,280 |
|| 3,468,039 |
|| 2,308,620 |
||Kiram, Jamalul III
|| 1,956,612 |
|| 753,434 |
||Paredes, Zosimo II
|| 716,544 |
|| 689,272 |
|| 560,281 |
|| 420,080 |
|| 366,146 |
|| 344,670 |
|| 310,079 |
|| 211,986 |
|| 184,401 |
|| 165,116 |
Prior to the start of the official COMELEC count and the COMELEC-accredited NAMFREL quick count, media counts were conducted by ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation
in concurrence with STI Colleges
and GMA Network
in concurrence with AMA Computer University
The media counts lasted until May 16, when NAMFREL started its quick count. Both media counts ended with about 1.5 million votes for the topnotcher. COMELEC through its chairman Benjamin Abalos
then ordered the networks to stop their "unauthorized" quick counts for it "confuses our people. It shows trending and we do not allow trending because they might be reporting from places favorable to their candidates of choice. However, the media count conducted by ABS-CBN
reflected the final tally (8-2-2) of NAMFREL quick count.
All winning candidates will serve at the 14th Congress of the Philippines
for 3-year terms. The representatives are chosen by two means:
- Via districts - The candidates with highest amount of votes in a specific district wins that district's seat in the House of Representatives.
- Via party-lists - The party with at least 2% of the total number of votes is guaranteed one seat in the House; 4% is guaranteed 2 seats, while more than 6% has 3 seats.
All local positions are disputed in the elections, with the candidate with the most number of votes for governor, vice-governor, mayor and vice-mayor being declared as the winner. Winners for the positions for board members and councilors depends on the size of the assembly.
Administration Candidates won the majority of the local positions.
- COMELEC - Official website of the Philippine Commission on Elections (COMELEC)
- NAMFREL - Official website of National Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL)
- Bagong Botante - the COMELEC's official voter education site
- PPCRV - Official website of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV)
- VForce - 1 Million Volunteers for Clean Elections (VForce)