Grace Poe rides independent campaign to second place finish

Trishia Billones, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 22 2019 11:20 AM

Sen. Grace Poe casts her vote, after some malfunctions in the vote counting machine, during the 2019 mid-term elections at Santa Lucia Elementary School in San Juan City on May 13, 2019. Maria Tan, ABS-CBN News

MANILA -- Senator Grace Poe was proclaimed for her second 6-year term on Tuesday, finishing near the top of the race despite running as an independent.

Poe, 50, placed second in the race with 22,029,788 votes. 

She topped the 2013 senatorial race on her first crack at public office. She placed third in the 2016 presidential race behind President Rodrigo Duterte and former Sen. Mar Roxas who failed to reclaim his Senate seat in the May 13 vote.

In a statement issued after initial results showed her winning, Poe said her win was a "triumph of independence for the Filipino people who stood by our side."

"We vow to remain independent, discerning and equitable, bearing in mind and heart that we owe the people our position," she said.

Poe's win as an independent showed that she "ran a good campaign," said University of the Philippines political science professor Ranjit Rye.

"She was able to consolidate her votes in 2016 and build on it, transform it to a constituency that will push her to a win," he told ABS-CBN News.

A win by a relative newcomer like Poe shows that "the electorate is changing," said Rye. "They're not looking for the old and established. They're looking for new names in politics," he said.