June 6, 2007
Election results point to opposition-controlled Senate
The election commission of the Philippines on Wednesday declared 10
senatorial candidates winners of the May 14 mid-term elections, paving the
way for an opposition-controlled Senate.
Two more will be proclaimed winners in the coming days to complete half of
the 24-seat Senate after the commission completed the counting of their
votes. The 10 new senators are six opposition candidates, two independent
candidates and two allies of Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Another opposition senatorial candidate is in the 11th slot while the 12th
is being contested by an opposition candidate and an administration
candidate. The opposition candidate is currently leading.
The newly elected senators are Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, Panfilo
Lacson, Manuel Villar, Francis Pangilinan, Benigno Aquino lll, Edgardo
Angara, Alan Peter Cayetano, Joker Arroyo and Gregorio Honasan. The
commission has yet to declare Antonio Trillanes, a jailed mutineer, and
whoever will win the contested 12th slot.
Edna Co, a professor at Ateneo de Manila University, said the result of
this year's elections "tells about the 2004 elections," referring to the
controversial 2004 presidential elections won by Arroyo. The opposition
accused Arroyo of rigging that election, an allegation she denies.
"(The result of the mid-term elections) also tells about the discontent on
the current administration. The people are not satisfied as yet with the
performance of the administration," Co said in a television interview.
"The composition of the Senate, being predominantly opposition, is going
to be something disheartening for the administration," she added. "It's a
very difficult chamber to look at."
Arroyo's Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita said the Malacanang
presidential palace expects the opposition senators to be "responsible
enough" to have the "interest of the greater majority of our people at
heart, rather than just acting in a manner too personal that they will
block whatever it is that may be initiated by the administration."
Arroyo is hoping the Senate will ratify the Japan-Philippines Economic
Partnership Agreement, which was signed by Arroyo and former Japan Prime
Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Helsinki in September 2006. Kyodo