The Senate Magic 12 of 2010

Manila, Philippines -  The election of 2010 automated election for the senate of magic 12 is now done!
The Commission on Elections (Comelec), acting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBoC), on Tuesday proclaimed Senators Sergio Osmeña III, 10,996,061; Manuel “Lito” Lapid, 10,327,121; and Teofisto Guingona III with 9,686,352 votes.

Comelec Chairman Jose Melo said although there are votes that have yet to be counted by NBoC, it doesn’t materially affect the votes obtained by the 10th up to 12th ranking winning candidates so they decided to proclaim them.

The three winners were the last batch of new senators to fill in the remaining slots in the Senate. They will serve in the 15th Congress until 2016, together with the nine who were earlier proclaimed.

Guingona, son of former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr., edged out his fellow Liberal partymate and Akbayan Party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel. He had secured a lead of 1,158,799 vote over his closest rival in the race.

They will join Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Franklin Drilon, Juan Ponce Enrile, Pia Cayetano, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Ralph Recto, and Vicente Sotto III.

“For the Comelec, this moment stands as a shining vindication of everything we have fought from the halls of Congress to the rough and tumble world of public office. The proclamation of these senators-elect puts to rest all the slanders and vicious attacks we have to endure because we stayed true to our vision,” said Melo.

“Most importantly for the country today marks the beginning of the future. We have successfully broken the psych barrier that prevented us from imagining fully automated elections in the Philippines,” he added.

Guingona and Lapid showed up in the proclamation ceremony at the poll body’s main office in Intramuros, Manila except for Osmeña who reportedly had prior appointments.

“I would like to thank the automated system because I’m one of its beneficiaries. If not for it, I will not be here and may be I’m still waiting for counting to end and the final results,” said Guingona in an interview.

Guingona said should Senator Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino come out victorious as the country’s next president, that’s when they start the process of transformation and reforms.

He vowed to continue advocating for budgetary reforms in the Upper Chamber of Congress to help the next administration curb corruption and promote transparency in public offices.

Guingona hinted about his interest in being part of the Senate Committee on Finance, which deliberates on budget proposals of all government offices and agencies.

In a television interview aired over the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC) after his proclamation, Guingona said he would fit a Senate committee where he can make use of his long running campaign for transparent crafting of the national budget.

“That was my advocacy when I was still in the House of Representatives. I will continue this campaign until we get the reform that we are long fighting for,” Guingona said.

The proclamation of the 12 new senators came just a week after the voting. The Comelec described the proclamation as the “fastest” in the country’s election history after the May 10 polls was automated.

“We have triumphantly cast off the conventional wisdom that ordinary Filipinos will find the transition from the fully manual mode of voting difficult and we have overturned the entire conviction of some that we simply cannot do it,” Melo said.

Following their proclamation, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson and Press Undersecretary Rogelio Peyuan extended the Arroyo government’s felicitations to the last three senators.

“We wish to congratulate the last three members of the Senate who were actually proclaimed by the Comelec. There goes the final set to complete the entire second batch of senate that will lead us to more colorful level of governance,” he told a press briefing.

Source: ABS- CBN

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