MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday named lawyer Samson Alcantara, 77, a third placer in the 1957 Bar examination and Ricardo Penson, 60, president and chief executive officer of Ausphil Tollways Corp., as the two other senatorial candidates who are qualified to run in the 2013 midterm elections.
Alcantara, of the Social Justice Society political party, is founding chairman and president of ABAKADA Guro party-list and a law professor at the University of Santo Tomas.
Penson, on the other hand, is an independent candidate.
This brings to 32 the total number of senatorial candidates vying for the 12 Senate seats up for grabs next year.
“We may be coming up with an official list of senatorial candidates on Monday. Most likely this will be it. We may no longer add to the list,” said Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes in an interview.
Declared earlier as qualified to run in the senatorial race are Ang Kapatiran’s John Carlos de los Reyes, Marwil Llasos, and Rizalito David; Makabayan’s Teodoro Casiño; and independent bets Edward Hagedorn, and Ramon Montaño.
Juan Edgardo Angara (Laban); Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, Maria Ana Consuelo Madrigal, and Ramon Magsaysay Jr. (Liberal Party (LP); Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV; Cynthia Villar (Nacionalista Party) and Risa Hontiveros (Akbayan), all under the Malacañang-backed LP coalition.
Maria Lourdes Binay, Margarita Cojuangco, Joseph Victor Ejercito, Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan, Ernesto Maceda, Maria Milagros Esperanza Magsaysay, Juan Miguel Zubiri (UNA); and Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. of Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA).
The two parties have three common candidates - Sen. Loren Legarda (NPC), and independent bets Sen. Francis Joseph Escudero and Maria Grace Llamanzares.
Sen. Aquilino Martin Pimentel III, on the other hand, is seeking re-election under PDP-Laban.
Others are Greco Antonious Beda Belgica, son of former Manila councilor Grepor Belgica; Baldomero Falcone, and Christian Señeres, son of former ambassador Roy Señeres, all of the Democratic Party, the newest political party accredited by the Comelec.
Last minute rush
Brillantes had expressed dismay upon seeing the long queue of registrants in the Comelec offices in Quezon City, Makati and Manila.
“I’m just making a round to see the current situation for the last five days (of the registration). We expect that the situation will be worst during the last two days. We want to show the public that we really have to change our culture (of beating the last minute). For several elections, we have the same experience,” Brillantes said during his inspections.
According to Gemma Peralta, 38, of Holy Spirit, Quezon, she was just taking advantage of yesterday’s holiday to come to Comelec and apply for the transfer of her registration.
Peralta claimed that she is a registered voter in Infanta, Quezon.
“My husband was assigned by his office here in Quezon City so we moved residence. I take care of our three children so I did not have time to go to Comelec much earlier,” she said.
Brillantes noted the “continuing registration process” had started more than a year ago but voters still opt to sign up when the deadline is near.