MANILA - Former Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar was proclaimed among winning Senate candidates on Wednesday, as he echoed presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr's call for unity.
"Now is the time for us to be really unified, to work together as one, and make sure that we 'build, build, build' a country that the Filipino deserves," said Villar, who cited the need to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Villar, 43, is the third member of his family to win a Senate seat. His father, billionaire Manny Villar, served as Senate President from 2006 to 2008. His mother Sen. Cynthia Villar is said to be vying for the position.
The former DPWH chief was included in Marcos's Senate slate and was also endorsed by the PDP-Laban party chaired by President Rodrigo Duterte.
A member of the Nacionalista Party, Villar placed sixth in the Senate race with 19.47 million votes, based on the official figures from the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC).
At the proclamation ceremony, the senator-elect lauded the poll body for the conduct of the May 9 polls.
"Naging tahimik ang ating eleksiyon pero sumisigaw naman ang gawa at mahigit 80 percent ang bumoto," he said.
(The elections were peaceful but the Comelec's achievements screamed, as 80 percent of registered voters cast their ballot.)
The Commission on Elections said that the 83.11 percent voter turnout in this year's elections was one of the highest voter turnouts in history.
"I look forward to working with you in this upcoming Senate," Villar said, addressing his future colleagues at the upper chamber.
His work as a senator starts at noon on June 30, 2022.
Villar, alongside reelectionists Sherwin Gatchalian and Joel Villanueva, ran advertisements worth more than P1 billion from January 2021 to January 2022, according to the Philippine Center of Investigative.