Image Source: - Photo by Mark Seliger
Image Source: – Photo by Mark Seliger

[box type=”default” size=”large”] Four previous losers in Magic 12 [/box]

In what has become a perplexing Senate electoral derby, four previous losers are in the Magic 12 while Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, who recently retired from boxing, has beaten one of these losers to climb to No. 7.

Based on 94.77 percent of the results as of 1:06 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11 (Manila time), Pacquiao got 15,413,442 votes while Liberal Party (LP) candidate and a loser in the Senate race thrice, Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros took 8th place with 15,402,392 votes.

Hontiveros is closely linked to Ronald Llamas, President Aquino’s adviser on political affairs who reportedly now controls the President’s Bridge Program (PBP), and has served as director of PhilHealth, which purportedly financed her political advertisements.

Comebacking LP candidate Francis Pangilinan, who took over three agencies of the Department of Agriculture (DA) as presidential assistant on food security and agricultural modernization (Pafsam) and increased rice imports preparatory to the elections, also slid to No. 9, with 15,372,934 votes.

Surprisingly, LP’s Joel Villanueva, son of Jesus is Lord (JIL) founder Brother Eddie Villanueva and a previous loser, suddenly sprung to life and secured 17,923,978 votes to practically threaten No. 1 Franklin Drilon, a former Senate President and perennial winner as he mastered the art of political survival by latching on to whoever is in power, who had 17,972,631 votes.

Third in the race is comedian, songwriter and the biggest opponent of the Reproductive Health Law (RHL) Vicente “Tito” Sotto of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) with 16,671,967 votes.

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Independent candidate Panfilo “Ping” Lacson is fourth with 16,379,738 votes and previous loser Richard “Dick” Gordon, also an independent, garnered 16,149,524 votes to rank fifth.

Sixth is another independent, Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, with 15,519,658 votes.

Zubiri was known best for resigning his Senate post rather face ouster after it was shown that he benefited from the vote-shaving operation that targeted Senator Aquilino Pimentel III.

Sherwin Gatchalian of NPC is No. 10 with 14,548,512 votes, followed by LP’s Ralph Recto with 13,757,631 votes.

Still fighting to secure the 12th spot is LP’s Leila de Lima with 13,649,560 votes.

If the rankings do not change, there will be four new faces in the Senate in Pacquiao, Villanueva, Gatchalian and Hontiveros.

The four previous losers in the Senate race are Villanuva, Hontiveros, Gordon and Zubiri.