Action star Robin Padilla, a first-timer and the first placer in the 2022 Senate race, appealed to his fellow lawmakers help him push for charter change — the forefront of his campaign platform — as he was proclaimed senator-elect along with 11 other winning candidates Wednesday.
Addressing incoming senators and those still seated for another three years, Padilla said his lead in the polls reflect the demand for the government’s shift to federalism.
“Ang tangi ko pong hiling ngayon [sa inyo]… Iyong 26-plus million na bumoto po sa akin, naniniwala po sila sa aking plataporma — at iyon po ang reporma sa ating Saligang Batas. Hinihingi ko po sa inyo, mga kapatid ko sa Senado, atin bong bigyan ng pagkakataon ang reporma. Hinihingi na po ito. Ang nakaparaming [hinaing] patungkol sa suweldo, trabaho, edukasyon — lahat po ‘yan nakasalalay kung atin pong haharapin ang reporma sa ating Saligang Batas,” he said in his proclamation speech at the Philippine International Convention Center.
Padilla, 52, emerged as the No. 1 senator in the elections on his first try with a total of 26,612,434 votes — logging over 2 million votes more than returning Sen. Loren Legarda, and some 3 million votes more than popular broadcaster and fellow neophyte Raffy Tulfo — according to the final, official tally from the Commission on Elections sitting as the National Board of Canvassers.
The senator-elect, one of the prominent Muslim celebrities in Christian-majority Philippines, won by a landslide in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. He got 60,287 votes from the region — over 20,000 ahead of the nearest candidate, reelectionist Sen. Migz Zubiri.
In his speech, Padilla attributed his victory to the “unity” of Muslim and Christian Filipinos.
“Ang akin pong pagkapanalo ay isa pong simbolo ng pagkakaisa ng mga Muslim at Kristyano. Sa loob po ng matagal na panahon — halos umabot sa 30 taon — wala pong Muslim na naging senador. Sa akin pong mga pinuntahan mga sortie, rally, ako po ay nakiusap sa ating mga kababyaan, na sana mabigyan niyo po ng pagkakataon ang inyong mga kapatid na muling magkaroon ng representasyon sa Senado. At inyo pong binigyan ng pakakataon ang inyong mga kapatid,” he said.
Former Sen. Santanina Rasul from Sulu ended her second term in 1995.
Padilla, who had the widest reach and most interactions on Facebook among the senatorial aspirants during the election season, meanwhile ranked second to Legarda in the manual voting of overseas Filipinos, with 20,419 votes. (M. Dumaual, abs-cbn)