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‘Legacy candidates’ seek Senate slots

Other senatorial aspirants who filed their CoC are former Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, actor Monsour del Rosario, Leo Alarte, Ponciano Leyte Jr., Ma. Dominga Cecilia Padilla, Paulo Capino, Nelson Ancajas, Melissa Fortes and Carmen Zubiaga.

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Familiar names — most of them children of former and active government officials – flocked to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday to formalize their senatorial bids in the 2022 National Elections.

Reelection aspirant Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri led the list after he arrived at the Harbor Garden Tent of Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City to file his Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) for senator.

Zubiri is seeking a second term in the Senate. He filed as an independent candidate but he will be adopted by the tandem of Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who will be running as president and vice president, respectively.

In seeking reelection, the majority leader has asked voters for support, saying his 20 years of public service is untainted by any issue of corruption.

“The Filipino people did not fall short during my six years in the 17th and 18th Congress,” he said. “I never had any issue of corruption in my 20 years of service.”

Prior to his stint at the Senate, the lawmaker served as the representative of Bukidnon, replacing his father Jose Maria Zubiri Jr. who now serves as the governor of the province.

He was first elected as a senator in 2007 but resigned in 2011 after election fraud allegations.

Zubiri ran again in 2016 and ranked sixth with 16 million votes. He was elected as majority floor in the 17th Congress, succeeding Sotto who became the Senate President.

Senator Joel Villanueva, meanwhile, also filed for reelection in next year’s elections.

Like Zubiri, Villanueva is seeking his second term in the Senate after winning in the 2016 National Elections with over 18 million votes.

Villanueva vowed to push for measures that would create jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic and address its effects on the country’s economy and employment rate.

He filed his candidacy under Citizens’ Battle Against Corruption (CIBAC) but he will also be adopted by the Lacson-Sotto tandem.

A mix of new but familiar names also formally joined the senatorial race.

Resigned Public Works Secretary Mark Villar filed his CoC on Wednesday, 6 October — a day after he stepped down from his Cabinet post.

He will join the senatorial line up of President Rodrigo Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban) together with other Cabinet official, including Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Palace spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. and Malacañang chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo.

If elected, he will be the third Villar to serve in the Senate. His mother, Senator Cynthia Villar, is an incumbent lawmaker while his father Manny Villar is a former Senate President.

The younger Villar resigned as a representative of Las Piñas in 2016 to head the Duterte administration’s “Build, Build, Build” initiative under the DPWH.

Other senatorial aspirants who filed their CoC are former Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, actor Monsour del Rosario, Leo Alarte, Ponciano Leyte Jr., Ma. Dominga Cecilia Padilla, Paulo Capino, Nelson Ancajas, Melissa Fortes and Carmen Zubiaga.

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