World Politics & Affairs

A Guide to the 2019 Philippine General Election

A conclusion to the 2019 Midterm Election.

On May 22, 2019, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has finally released the official results of the 2019 General Election, proclaiming newly elected senators who are hoped to refine the bills and legislatures circling the Philippine Republic.

Supporters coming from different political factions have expressed victory with their senatorial bets stand triumphantly and opposing groups grieving with dismay as their candidates wallow in despondence as they concede their defeat.

Twelve newly elected senators, also known as the “Magic 12”, won the 2019 Philippine Senatorial Elections, accumulating the total number of votes respectively:

Photo via Rappler

Out of the twelve newly elected senators, nine candidates: Sonny Angara, Francis Tolentino, Koko Pimentel, Bong Revilla, Pia Cayetano, Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa, Bong Go, Cynthia Villar, and Imee Marcos, stole the seats by being nestled under the support of the political alliance called Hugpong ng Pagbabago (Faction of Change), a political alliance backed by the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and his daughter, the Davao City Mayor Sarah Duterte.

The Implications of this Election

The cherry-picking of the most qualified senatorial wannabes, however, has quaked the Philippine islands, as a plethora of prejudice and malfeasance has been reported.

Religious group Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) were reported to endorse and support members of Hugpong ng Pagbabago through unity vote. Sources say INC members who will exclude themselves from the unity vote will be excommunicated. Tensions brewed as members of the INC and other denominations threw shade and criticism at each other regarding the issue.

A dispute cut from the comment section of a post shared by Remgel Vinluan. The second comment reads: “It was her decision anyway. She’s no longer a ‘kapatid’ [sistren] the moment she decides to break the unity. If you think your choice is better than ours then fine. We are not attacking your own perception of ‘a better country with better senators’. Because in the end, Philippines will be the same. Of all all the elections before this day, what did changed? All [candidates] promised not to swindle and to be honest to the country, but who knows, right? The truth is, the government did nothing for us. After this election, everything will get back to normal [,] that we have the power to elect and after they became senators, they will put everything to us.

Furthermore, rumors regarding election rigging surfaced. A glitch on the transparency server and vote counting machine, causing seven hour delay with the tally was reported. The Comelec blames a “bottleneck” as the cause of the disruption, finding vote-counting machines inconvenient. However, IT experts tend to explain how tampering the results is plausible.

“… tampering would have to be an inside job—which means people inside Smartmatic-TIM, or the Comelec itself.”

– Solita Collas-Monsod, Was there tampering and manipulation?

Media companies, on the other hand, such as the Inquirer and Rappler won the public’s attention by lambasting the winners of the senatorial election, attributing the senators’ cases and scandals by reporting live tweets on Twitter.

Tweet via @Inquirerdotnet
Tweet via @Inquirerdotnet
Tweet via @Inquirerdotnet
Tweet via @Inquirerdotnet
Tweet via @Inquirerdotnet
Tweet via @Rapplerdotcom
Tweet via @Rapplerdotcom
Tweet via @Rapplerdotcom
Tweet via @Rapplerdotcom

Moreover, prominent people such as Mike Enriquez, a veteran and well-known news figure in the Philippines, “snapped” and requested to interview the senatorial winners to find “retribution” and to compare what they have promised during the campaign season from their performance.


(… [to] all of the winners, I wished we can interview you. I want them to pay back. What can we now expect from you? … So that as early as now we can know, while their term is in progress, we can see what they are doing versus what they promised.)

The issue regarding the election result also caught the attention of foreign countries. For example, Rappler journalist and columnist Vergel O. Santos has published an article under the New York Times, stressing the threats now that the Senate is occupied by candidates in his favor.

Mr. Duterte has managed to pull this off with the assent of Congress and the Supreme Court. The court now comprises mostly judges whom he or Ms. Arroyo appointed. Ms. Arroyo’s efforts to stack the bench were presciently self-serving: The court dismissed corruption charges against her in July 2016 — just a few weeks after Mr. Duterte became president. Today, she is speaker of the House of Representatives.

– Vergel O. Santos, The Philippines Just Became More Authoritarian, Thanks to the People

The 2019 election, the candidates,  President Rodrigo’s administration, and his famous drug on war campaign was satirized and presented humorously by Peabody American Comedian Hasan Minhaj in Netflix’s Patriot Act.

A lot of Filipinos however, are not delighted with the sympathy and information disclosed by Minhaj. For example, Communications Secretary Martin Andanar expressed his disapproval with his show as a desperate tool to remark exaggeration and and to demonize the Duterte Administration, intensified by anti-Duterte supporters and trolls on the eve of midterm elections.

Photo via @NEWS5Aksyon

“We express outrage that such erroneous narratives, obviously peddled by anti-Duterte haters and trolls, would find their way to the gullible TV host and his comedy show and unwittingly parrot these falsehoods to an audience unaware of the real score in the Philippines,” he added.

The public has also expressed abhorrence and disapproval by commenting on the video posted on Facebook, throwing slurs to Minhaj and his ethnicity.

(Clean your backyard [own mess] before you pry in our country. Teach your Indian countrymen how to take a bath)

While some Filipinos are dismayed with the ad hominem and and lack of logical response catapulted by their countrymen, these comments came out as an evidence with Filipinos dumbfounded with issues lingering the country, suggesting that Filipinos are the third most ignorant country with regards to key-issues concerning a country as result of market research firm IPSOS’s Perils of Perception 2017 survey, where the Philippines manifest high levels of Misperceptions Index but high confidence with their views and answers.

Still, some events still shed light and give clarity that there is hope, like how Gerandy Danao, a resilient farmer, won a glorious feat as he opposed a family who reign the city of Narra, Palawan for three long decades, and was hailed as the the as the city mayor.

Photo via

“Kung walang maglalakas-loob na tumakbo, sino ang lalaban (If there is no one who is willing to be courageous to run, who will oppose against them).” These are the words told by Danao, a fluke, a frugal-living mo who is applauded by winning the mayoral position by a long shot.

Article Sources, (2019, May 15), Complete, official results of 2019 senatorial elections, Retrieved from (June 8, 2019)

Burgos, Arlene, (2019, May 14), #HalalanDayaan2019 trends after 7-hour gap in unofficial tallies transmission, Retrieved from (June 8, 2019)

Sallaveria, Leila B., Santos, Tina G., Yee, Jovic, (2019. May 15), Comelec blames ‘bottleneck’ for 7-hour server delay, Retrieved from (June 8, 2019)

Collas-Monsod, Solita, (2019, May 18), Was there tampering and manipulation?, Retrieved from (June 8, 2019)

Coconuts Manila, (2019, May 14), News anchor Mike Enriquez trends on PH Twitter for voicing people’s election frustrations on live TV, Retrieved from (June 8. 2019)

Lopez, Virgil, (2019, May 15), Andanar slams ‘erroneous narratives’ vs Duterte on Netflix show, Retrieved from (June 8, 2019)

Hallare, Katrine, (2018, February 8), Filipinos among most ignorant on issues concerning the nation, says survey, Retrieved from (June 8, 2019)

Ruta, Rex, (2019, May 16), #HalalanResults: Magsasaka pinutol ang paghahari ng isang pamilya sa Narra, Palawan, Retrieved from (June 8, 2019)

Dolor, Beting, (2019, May 24 – 30), Not Comelec’s finest hour, Philippine News, p. 4.

Liangco, Amancio, (2019, May 24 – 30), ‘How to be a True Filipino’ (The Challenge of our Generation), Philippine News, p. 4.

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