The Senate of the Philippines turns into a family affair come the opening of the 19th Congress.
Four seats in the Upper House will be occupied by senatorial candidates who came from political families.
Although the proclamation of the 12 new senators that will complete the 24-member Senate has yet to happen with 52 Certificates of Canvass left, the spots of former House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano, former Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, and the half-siblings JV Ejercito and Jinggoy Estrada in the Senate are already secured.
Based on the partial and unofficial tally from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) transparency servers, Alan earned the seventh spot with over 19 million votes, as of 2:47 p.m. Friday, 13 May.
He is making a comeback in the Senate after serving a term as a representative of the 1st District of Taguig-Pateros. He is the brother of Sen. Pia Cayetano, whose term is set to expire in 2025.
Meanwhile, Mark is making his senatorial debut after serving as DPWH chief under the administration of outgoing President Rodrigo Duterte.
He will join his mother, incumbent Senator Cynthia Villar, the matriarch of the Villar-Aguilar clan from Nacionalista Party, who could be the next Senate President, according to Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa.
His father, business tycoon Manny Villar also served as the Senate President from 2006 to 2008.
Mark is credited for the “Build, Build, Build,” infrastructure program, the flagship project of the Duterte administration which aimed to make mobilization and generation of jobs easier.
As of writing, he already garnered over 19 million votes at sixth spot in the senatorial race.
Meanwhile, former senator JV Ejercito and half-brother, Jinggoy Estrada are poised to return to the Senate after earning their spots in the so-called “Magic 12,” based on the partial and unofficial results from the Comelec.
The sons of former president Joseph Estrada, who both failed to secure a senatorial seat in the 2019 midterm elections will be working together in the upper chamber.
As of posting, Ejercito, who ran as an independent candidate is at 10th place with 15,688,993 votes, while his half-brother Estrada, who ran under the senatorial slate of presumptive president Ferdinand Marcos Jr., is at the 12th spot with 14,966,887 votes.
JV is the son of the former president Erap Estrada to former San Juan City mayor Guia Gomez, while his half-brother, Jinggoy is the son of former first lady Loi Ejercito.