BONG GO
Full Name: Christopher Lawrence T. Go
Birthdate: June 14, 1974
Immediate Past Position: Special Assistant to the President

FIRST on the list is the former special assistant of President Rodrigo Duterte. Senator Bong Go, who hails from Davao just like the President, placed 3rd overall in the senatorial race. He garnered the most votes among neophyte senators. Additionally, he is the only senatorial winner who has never previously held a formal position in government. However, being the President’s confidant and right-hand man endeared him to the people as did his spearheading relief operations and efficient aid to the masses and the marginalized.

Senator Go’s platform hinges on improving social services across the country. He wants to move for the creation of a Department of OFWs and a National Senior Citizens Commission. He is also for the imposition of the death penalty for heinous crimes involving illegal drugs. He wants to empower local government units and enact a Magna Carta for barangay officials.


PIA CAYETANO
Full Name: Pilar Juliana S. Cayetano
Birthdate: March 22, 1966
Immediate Past Position: 2nd District of Taguig Congresswoman

SENATOR Pia Cayetano is no stranger to the upper chamber of the legislature as she already served as senator for two consecutive terms from 2004 to 2016. However, due to the two consecutive term limit for senators, she ran and served as representative of the 2nd District of Taguig in 2016. She served as one of the Deputy Speakers of the House of Representatives from 2016 to 2019.

As a lawmaker, she is known for championing women’s rights, advocating healthcare policies, and supporting the youth and athletes. Among the things she will push for are increasing the taxes for tobacco products, enactment of an HIV-AIDS policy, and environmental awareness. She is in favor of the death penalty, federalism, and divorce.


BATO DELA ROSA
Full Name: Ronald M. dela Rosa
Birthdate: January 21, 1962
Immediate Past Position: Bureau of Corrections Director

ANOTHER new senator from Davao, and perhaps one of the most polarizing figures in this list, is former top cop Bato dela Rosa. He gained national prominence as the architect and chief implementor of President Duterte’s war on drugs. He hopes to bring his experience as an implementor of the law to the legislative branch to aid in crafting new laws. He is a staunch supporter of bringing back the death penalty especially for drug pushing and heinous crimes involving drugs, as well as mandatory ROTC and military service. He also wants to create a Department of Water to solve the country’s water crisis, and a Department of Corrections.


IMEE MARCOS
Full Name: Maria Imelda Josefa R. Marcos
Birthdate: November 12, 1955
Immediate Past Position: Ilocos Norte Governor

NEOPHYTE senator Imee Marcos had a long career in public service before vying for a national post. During the presidency of his late father, President Ferdinand Marcos, she was appointed to various roles in government. After her family returned from exile, she had three consecutive terms both as congresswoman of the 2nd District of Ilocos Norte (1998-2007) and as governor of Ilocos Norte (2010-2019).

Senator Marcos is confident that her experience in her stints in the Lower House and in the local government will benefit her in her new position. She aims to effect positive change in rice production and agriculture, and suspension of VAT for specific items, among others. She supports federalism and the reimposition of the death penalty. She also wants to push for greater internet connectivity across the country.


FRANCIS TOLENTINO
Full Name: Francis N. Tolentino
Birthdate: January 3, 1960
Immediate Past Position: Political Adviser to the President

BEST known for his chairmanship of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) from 2010 to 2015, Francis Tolentino finally secured a senatorial seat in his second bid (he placed 13th in the 2016 senatorial elections). He began his political career as mayor of Tagaytay City where he was most lauded for his efforts for public safety. As MMDA chair, he regulated outdoor advertisements and relaunched the Pasig ferry system to provide alternative transportation for the public to the ever-congested roads of the Metro.

Among his advocacies are environmental justice and disaster preparedness. He is also in favor of same-sex legal rights and the death penalty.


ALAN CAYETANO
Full Name: Alan Peter S. Cayetano
Birthdate: October 28, 1970
Immediate Past Position: Secretary of Foreign Affairs

THE former senator secured a seat at the Lower House in the recent election, winning as the Representative of the First District of Taguig-Pateros. He served as Congressman of the District of Taguig-Pateros for three consecutive terms since 1998, before running for the Senate in 2007. Son of the late Senator Rene Cayetano and brother
to Senator Pia Cayetano, he was known for his steadfast stance against corruption and his advocacy toward an improved educational system.

In 2016, in the middle of his second term as senator, he became President Duterte’s running mate. A year after his failed bid as Vice President, he was appointed as the Secretary of Foreign Affairs, leading him to give up his Senate seat. As congressman, Cayetano will push for measures that will improve the lives of Filipinos. He has also pledged to support the Presidents’ programs and push for federalism.


CHIZ ESCUDERO
Full Name: Francis Joseph G. Escudero
Birthdate: October 10, 1969
Immediate Past Position: Senator

THE former senator succeeded in his bid to become the governor of his province of Sorsogon. He has gone back to serving his province, where he started his career in public service as congressman of the 1st District of Sorsogon in 1988. He gained national prominence for his leading role in the impeachment drive against then President Arroyo in 2005. He successfully ran for the Senate in 2007 and was reelected in 2013. As “voice of the people,” he was successful in pushing for tax exemptions for low-income earners and has made ground in justice and human rights and environment and natural resources.

As governor, Escudero has vowed to focus on clean and honest governance; health and social development; and tourism and sports development. He also wants to introduce the corporate farming system to boost agricultural production, with emphasis on rice, vegetable, pili, and poultry production.


LOREN LEGARDA
Full Name: Lorna Regina B. Legarda
Birthdate: January 28, 1960
Immediate Past Position: Senator

THE House of Representatives has gained another experienced member in the person of Loren Legarda. The three-term senator, and only female to have topped the senatorial race twice, is not resting from serving the public after her term as senator. She has opted to serve the province of Antique as Congresswoman. As a senator, she was widely known for her zealous sponsorship of bills promoting sustainable use of natural resources and preservation of the environment, social justice and human rights; and livelihood and employment opportunities.

Congresswoman Legarda wants to make Antique a showcase of inclusive, sustainable, and resilient development. She has vowed to provide jobs and livelihood assistance especially to farmers and fisherfolk, provide water to upland communities, and assistance to students. She has also promised to continue providing medicines to needy patients, and to improve hospital facilities and rural health units in her province.

Whether the above officials moved up or down the senatorial ladder, they can expect the electorate to watch them closely as they go about their duties. — MARCO NICANOR

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