Philippine Senate election, 2007
Election to the Senate of the Philippines was held on Monday, May 14, 2007. This is to elect 12 of the 24 seats in the Senate. Together with those elected in 2004, they will comprise the 14th Congress via plurality-at-large voting. The senators elected in 2004 will serve until June 30, 2010, while the senators elected in this election will serve up to June 30, 2013. The elections to the House of Representatives as well as local elections occurred on the same date. The Philippines uses plurality-at-large voting for seats in the Senate.
In the election, the opposition-backed alliance called the Genuine Opposition (GO) defeated the administration-led alliance TEAM Unity by winning seven of the twelve seats in the Senate. For the first time in Philippine history, Antonio Trillanes IV was elected as a senator while currently detained for mutiny and rebellion charges. Almost the incumbents running for reelection won except for Ralph Recto who was at fourteenth place.
- 1 Official candidates
- 2 Background
- 3 Coalitions and party groupings
- 4 Campaign
- 5 Candidates
- 6 Retiring and term-limited incumbents
- 7 Opinion polls
- 8 Result
- 9 Aftermath
- 10 References
- 11 External links
- 12 Media websites
On March 19, 2007 COMELEC released Resolution No.7832 which finalized and approved the official candidates for the senatorial election. On March 29, 2007 COMELEC certified 37 Senatorial Candidates:
On March 11, 2007 the Old COMELEC Building in Intramuros, Manila was burned by a blazing fire ruining several ballot boxes and pending election protests. 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 Aquino-Oreta has the last name Oreta, COMELEC ruled that all votes with only the name Aquino would go to Tarlac Rep. Benigno Aquino III. All three Aquinos are related to each other.
The Cayetano issue
The matter was the same as the Aquino issue. Representative Alan Peter Cayetano (Taguig City-Pateros) found out that a certain Joselito Cayetano belonging to the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) 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, 2007.
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.
Coalitions and party groupings
TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) Unity is the administration-backed 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 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 had their proclamation rally at the Cebu Coliseum last February 17, 2007.
Genuine Opposition (GO) is the main opposition-backed coalition of the parties' senatorial line-up for the elections, which is in opposition to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. It was originally called the "United Opposition" (UNO), created by opposition stalwart and Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay on June 2005 to unite all politicians who wanted to impeach President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. UNO then reorganized itself and changed its name to Grand and Broad Coalition (GBC), with the UNO party under that coalition. On February 15, 2007 the group changed its name again to Genuine Opposition after a meeting with Senate President Manny Villar in his office in Las Piñas City.
Candidates made use of different campaign platforms to win. Prospero Pichay, Manny Villar, Mike Defensor, and Loren Legarda had been very visible in TV ads. Francis Pangilinan preferred to run as an independent and decided not to participate in sorties and campaign of the Genuine Opposition, even though he was initially drafted as a guest candidate. Tessie Aquino-Oreta had 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.
Retiring and term-limited incumbents
At this point in time, two Senators are voluntarily retiring from the Senate at the end of their current term. As well four Senators are term-limited by the Constitution of the Philippines after serving two consecutive terms. There was one vacancy left in the outgoing Senate as Noli de Castro (Independent) was elected as Vice-President in 2004.
Liberal Party incumbent
- Franklin Drilon: Term-limited in 2007, return in 2010.
Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino incumbents
Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan incumbent
Opinion polling (locally known as "surveys") is carried out by two major polling firms: Social Weather Stations (SWS), and Pulse Asia, with a handful of minor polling firms. A typical poll asks a voter to name twelve persons one would vote for in the senate election.
|Pollster||Pulse Asia||SWS||Pulse Asia||SWS||Pulse Asia||SWS||SWS|
|Date(s) administered||January 25–28, 2007||February 22–27, 2007||February 26–March 5, 2007||March 15–18, 2007||April 3–5, 2007||April 14–17, 2007||May 2–4, 2007|
|Margin of error||±3.0%||±3.0%||±3.0%||±3.0%||±3.0%||±3.0%||±3.0%|
|Candidates (Party; ticket)||1||Legarda (NPC; GO), 46.6%||Pangilinan (LP; Ind), 57%||Legarda (NPC; GO), 56.8%||Legarda (NPC; GO), 58%||Legarda (NPC; GO), 56.8%||Legarda (NPC; GO), 58%||Legarda (NPC; GO), 59%|
|2|| Lacson (UNO; GO), 34.6%
Pangilinan (LP; Ind), 34.6%
|Legarda (NPC; GO), 54%||Lacson (UNO; GO), 41.1%||Villar (NP; GO), 57%||Escudero (NPC; GO), 47.2%||Villar (NP; GO), 45%||Villar (NP; GO), 46%|
|3||Villar (NP; GO), 52%||Pangilinan (LP; Ind), 39.4%||Pangilinan (LP; Ind), 48%||Villar (NP; GO), 47.0%|| Escudero (NPC; GO), 41%
Lacson (UNO; GO), 41%
|Escudero (NPC; GO), 43%|
|4||Cayetano (NP; GO), 31.7%||Cayetano (NP; GO), 43%||Escudero (NPC; GO), 35.5%||Lacson (UNO; GO), 42%||Lacson (UNO; GO), 43.9%||Pangilinan (LP; Ind), 41%|
|5||Sotto (NPC; TU), 28.8%||Lacson (UNO; GO), 42%||Recto (Lakas; TU), 35.2%||Escudero (NPC; GO), 40%||Pangilinan (LP; Ind), 38.8%||Pangilinan (LP; Ind), 39%||Lacson (UNO; GO), 39%|
|6||Villar (NP; GO), 26.4%||Recto (Lakas; TU), 37%||Villar (NP; GO), 35.0%||Cayetano (NP; GO), 39%||Cayetano (NP; GO), 38.2%||Recto (Lakas; TU), 36%|| Recto (Lakas; TU), 36%
Aquino (LP; GO), 36%
|7||Recto (Lakas; TU), 26.0%||Escudero (NPC; GO), 36%||Arroyo (KAMPI; TU), 34.5%||Recto (Lakas; TU), 37%||Honasan (Ind; Ind), 35.7%||Angara (LDP; TU), 35%|
|8||Arroyo (KAMPI; TU), 25.8%||Sotto (NPC; TU), 31%||Aquino (LP; GO), 34.2%||Angara (LDP; TU), 32%||Aquino (LP; GO), 35.5%||Arroyo (KAMPI; TU), 32%||Cayetano (NP; GO), 34%|
|9||Ejercito (PMP; GO), 25.7%|| Aquino (LP; GO), 30%
Osmeña (UNO; GO), 30%
|Angara (LDP; TU), 32.1%||Honasan (Ind; Ind), 29%||Recto (Lakas; TU), 35.4%||Cayetano (NP; GO), 31%|| Honasan (Ind; Ind), 32%
Zubiri (Lakas; TU), 32%
|10||Pimentel (PDP Laban; GO), 24.4%||Cayetano (NP; GO), 30.9%|| Aquino (LP; GO), 28%
Arroyo (KAMPI; TU), 28%
|Angara (LDP; TU), 35.2%||Sotto (NPC; TU), 30%|
|11||Angara (LDP; TU), 24.0%||Arroyo (KAMPI; TU), 29%||Honasan (Ind; Ind), 27.3%||Arroyo (KAMPI; TU), 33.4%|
|12||Honasan (Ind; Ind), 23.3%||Honasan (Ind; Ind), 28%||Sotto (NPC; TU), 25.4%||Zubiri (Lakas; TU), 32.0%|
|13||Escudero (NPC; GO), 23.2%||Pimentel (PDP Laban; GO), 23.1%||Pimentel (PDP Laban; GO), 30.1%|| Sotto (NPC; TU), 26%
|14||Aquino (LP; GO), 22.5%||Magsaysay (Lakas; TU), 22.4%||Pimentel (PDP Laban; GO), 25%||Sotto (NPC; TU), 29.2%||Zubiri (Lakas; TU), 25%||Pimentel (PDP Laban; GO), 25%|
|15||Osmeña (UNO; GO), 17.9%||Defensor (Lakas; TU), 21%||Roco (Aksyon; GO), 22.4%||Defensor (Lakas; TU), 21%||Roco (Aksyon; GO), 23%||Roco (Aksyon; GO), 27.1%|| Defensor (Lakas; TU), 24%
Trillanes (UNO; GO), 24%
Candidates who were not make it to the top 12, but were within the margin of error from the 12th-placed candidate, are denoted by figures inside the parenthesis.
|SWS||May 2–4, 2007||1,200||±3.0%||1||2||1||2||2||2||1||1||1||6||2||4|
|SWS||Apr 14–17, 2007||1,200||±3.0%||1||1(+1)||1||2||2||3||1||1||1||6(+1)||2||4(+1)|
|Pulse Asia||Apr 3–5, 2007||1,200||±3.0%||1||2||1||2||2||3||0(+1)||2||1||7(+1)||2||4|
|SWS||Mar 15–18, 2007||1,200||±3.0%||1||1||1||2||2||3||0(+1)||1(+1)||1||6(+1)||2||5|
|Pulse Asia||Feb 26–Mar 5, 2007||1,200||±3.0%||1||1(+1)||1||2||2||3||0(+1)||1||1||6(+2)||2||4(+1)|
|SWS||Feb 22–27, 2007||1,200||±3.0%||1||1||0(+1)||2||2||3||0(+1)||2||1||6(+1)||2||4(+1)|
|Pulse Asia||Jan 25–28, 2007||1,200||±3.0%||1||1||1||1(+1)||2||2(+1)||1||1||1||5(+2)||2||4|
|1.||Loren Legarda||Genuine Opposition||NPC||18,501,734||62.7%|
|2.||Francis Escudero||Genuine Opposition||NPC||18,265,307||61.9%|
|3.||Panfilo Lacson||Genuine Opposition||UNO||15,509,188||52.6%|
|4.||Manny Villar||Genuine Opposition||Nacionalista||15,338,412||52.0%|
|6.||Benigno Aquino III||Genuine Opposition||Liberal||14,309,349||48.5%|
|7.||Edgardo Angara||TEAM Unity||LDP||12,657,769||42.9%|
|8.||Joker Arroyo||TEAM Unity||KAMPI||11,803,107||40.0%|
|9.||Alan Peter Cayetano||Genuine Opposition||Nacionalista||11,787,679||40.0%|
|11.||Antonio Trillanes||Genuine Opposition||UNO||11,189,671||37.9%|
|12.||Aquilino Pimentel III||Genuine Opposition||PDP-Laban||10,898,786||37.3%|
|13.||Juan Miguel Zubiri||TEAM Unity||Lakas||10,640,620||37.2%|
|14.||Ralph Recto||TEAM Unity||Lakas||10,721,252||36.3%|
|15.||Mike Defensor||TEAM Unity||Lakas||9,938,995||33.7%|
|16.||Prospero Pichay, Jr.||TEAM Unity||Lakas||9,798,622||33.2%|
|17.||Sonia Roco||Genuine Opposition||Aksyon||8,457,748||28.7%|
|18.||Cesar Montano||TEAM Unity||Lakas||7,800,451||26.4%|
|19.||Tito Sotto||TEAM Unity||NPC||7,638,361||25.9%|
|20.||John Henry Osmeña||Genuine Opposition||UNO||7,267,048||24.6%|
|21.||Vicente Magsaysay||TEAM Unity||Lakas||6,357,905||21.4%|
|22.||Nikki Coseteng||Genuine Opposition||Independent||5,274,682||17.9%|
|23.||Teresa Aquino-Oreta||TEAM Unity||NPC||4,362,065||14.8%|
|24.||Luis Singson||TEAM Unity||Lakas||4,353,644||14.8%|
|26.||Jamalul Kiram III||TEAM Unity||PDSP||2,488,994||8.4%|
|27.||Melchor Chavez||Not affiliated||KBL||843,702||2.9%|
|28.||Martin Bautista||Not affiliated||Ang Kapatiran||761,165||2.6%|
|29.||Zosimo Jesus Paredes II||Not affiliated||Ang Kapatiran||713,817||2.4%|
|30.||Joselito Pepito Cayetano||Not affiliated||KBL||510,366||1.7%|
|31.||Adrian Sison||Not affiliated||Ang Kapatiran||402,331||1.4%|
|32.||Oliver Lozano||Not affiliated||KBL||305,647||1.0%|
|33.||Antonio Estrella||Not affiliated||KBL||285,488||1.0%|
|34.||Victor Wood||Not affiliated||KBL||283,036||1.0%|
|35.||Felix Cantal||Not affiliated||PGRP||123,608||0.4%|
|36.||Eduardo Orpilla||Not affiliated||KBL||107,532||0.4%|
|37.||Ruben Enciso||Not affiliated||KBL||100,523||0.3%|
|Note: 37 candidates ran for senator.||Source: COMELEC.gov.ph website|
|Total||%||Swing||Entered||Up||Not up||Won||End 13th||14th||%||+/−|
Although the Genuine Opposition gained control of the Senate after the elections, they were divided on who was to be next Senate President. As such, Senate President Manny Villar (Nacionalista) formed a bloc in the Senate to contest the Senate presidency. Facing him was the minority leader Aquilino Pimentel, Jr. backed by several fellow opposition senators. On July 26, 2007, Villar defeated Pimentel was elected to Senate by a vote of 15–7 with Villar and Pimentel voting for each other. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV was not allowed to attend the Senate session.
This is how the election for the Senate presidency went:
Pimentel vs. Zubiri electoral protest
Main article: Pimentel vs. Zubiri electoral protest
The 12th Senate seat was contested between TEAM Unity's Juan Miguel Zubiri and GO's Aquilino Pimentel III; Zubiri was proclaimed in July 2007 with a margin of about 20,000 votes, but Pimentel filed an electoral protest to the Senate Electoral Tribunal (SET), which the tribunal accepted, alleging there was massive electoral fraud in Maguindanao. After the revision of votes on Pimentel's protest on July 2009, he released a statement that he now leads Zubiri by 96,000 votes; Zubiri countered that his counter-protest that alleges similar fraud in Mega Manila has him leading by around 132,000 votes in areas affected by his counter protest.
On July 2011, suspended Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) governor Zaldy Ampatuan and Maguindanao election supervisor Lintang Bedol alleged that there was indeed fraud in the ARMM in favor of TEAM Unity. On August 3, 2011, Zubiri resigned, maintaining that he had no hand in alleged electoral fraud in the ARMM. He withdrew his counter-protest, which led to the SET to proclaim Pimentel as the winner on August 11, 2011. Pimentel took his oath at Mati, Davao Oriental, where he had the highest rank among the provinces, finishing in second place.
Pimentel sued former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, COMELEC chairman Benjamin Abalos, Maguinadanao elections supervisor Lintang Bedol and others for electoral sabotage on August 17, 2011 at the Department of Justice (DOJ). A joint DOJ-COMELEC panel began investigations on Pimentel's suit by November 3. On November 18, 2011, the commission voted to file charges against Arroyo and others at the Pasay Regional Trial Court, which later ordered Arroyo, Abalos and Bedol arrested later in the day.