Action star Robin Padilla leaps to No. 1 in Senate race


Posted at May 09 2022 09:29 PM | Updated as of May 10 2022 04:04 AM

Actor Robin Padilla ABS-CBN News
Actor Robin Padilla during the PDP-Laban campaign sortie held at the Marikina Hotel and Convention Center on March 20, 2019. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — (UPDATED) Actor Robin Padilla is on the way to becoming a first-time senator, based on partial, unofficial results of the Philippine election transmitted Monday night.

At 92% of votes transmitted as of 2:32 a.m. Tuesday, Padilla ranked first in the Senate race, ahead of survey frontrunners Antique Rep. Loren Legarda and broadcaster Raffy Tulfo.

In the last Pulse Asia survey released May 2, Padilla ranked third below Tulfo and Legarda, respectively.

“Kahit sa magandang panaginip, hindi ko naramdaman o naisip na ako ay mangunguna na karera na ito, sa pagiging senador,” Padilla said in a live interview on TeleRadyo shortly after the first batch of results. “Una, wala naman po akong makinarya, wala naman po akong pera, wala po ako lahat.”

Dubbed the “Bad Boy of Philippine Cinema” whose acting career spans nearly four decades, Padilla became an increasingly visible political figure as one of the staunch supporters of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte.

He carried over his loyalty to the chief executive’s daughter, vice-presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte. Padilla was included in the “UniTeam” senatorial slate of the younger Duterte and running mate, aspiring president Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.

Padilla is the latest action star to cross over to politics, after the likes of former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada, the late former Sen. Ramon Revilla, Sr., Sen. Bong Revilla, and Sen. Lito Lapid.

Padilla’s showbiz contemporary and ‘80s co-star Monsour del Rosario, meanwhile, lagged behind in the senatorial race. The former Makati City congressman ranked far below the qualifying 12 hopefuls, at rank 29, with 92% of votes transmitted.

Padilla rose to fame in the late ‘80s and quickly made a mark as a “simpatiko” action star.

His “Bad Boy” moniker made a real-life impression when, in 1996, he was convicted of illegal possession of firearms and sentenced to 17-21 years of imprisonment. While serving his sentence, he converted to Islam.

After two years of imprisonment, then-President Fidel Ramos pardoned Padilla, who successfully returned to showbiz.

He also managed to reclaim his leading-man status, with pairings with A-list actresses including Angel Locsin, Anne Curtis, and Jodi Sta. Maria, after first charming the likes of Sharon Cuneta and Kris Aquino in the ‘90s, before his hiatus.

Despite his wide popularity, Padilla said Monday he does not believe that Filipinos voted for him because of his familiar name. For the “Guns and Roses” actor, votes for him were votes specifically for his plan to push for federalism in the Philippines.

“Hindi naman po ako naniniwala na nanalo ako dahil ako’y si Robin Padilla. Hindi po ‘yan. Huwag po nating paniwalaan ‘yan. Ang paniwalaan natin ay ako po ay nakasama diyan — maging No.1 o No. 2 o maging No. 3 — para isulong ang pederalismo. Iyan po ang asahan ninyo. Hindi po ako diyan magiging bingi, hindi po ako diyan magiging pipi.

“Kung gaano po ako kaingay noong ako’y artista lang, noong wala pong nakikinig sa akin, ito pong lalo na na nagkaroon tayo ng plataporma, nagkaroon po tayo ng sinasabi nating pagtitiwala po ninyo at ako’y iniluklok ninyo, mas marami po tayong masasabi,” he said.

Bookmark the ABS-CBN News Halalan results page to see the partial unofficial tally of election returns. 

For other updates, visit ABS-CBN News' live blog here.