Philippine general election, 2007
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The 2007 elections, known otherwise as the Philippine national and local midterm elections, were held on May 14, 2007 and the candidates vie for positions in the Senate, who are elected for six-year terms, and the House of Representatives, elected every three years. The duly elected legislators of the 2007 elections join the elected senators of the 2004 elections and comprise the 14th Congress of the Philippines.
The Philippine midterm elections are done every 3 years, replacing legislative and local official posts. All 212 local district representatives win seats in the Congress by being elected directly (through popular vote) by the constituents. There are also positions in the Congress for organized representation of special minorities and party list groups, who gain one seat for every 2% of the total number of votes in the national electorate, but are only limited to three seats. Local elections for governor, vice governor, mayoral, and barangay posts also take place during the midterm elections.
On March 19, 2007 the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) released Resolution No.7832 which has finalized and approved the official candidates for the senatorial election. Then on March 24, 2007 the Commission on Elections has certified has the 37 Senatorial Candidates:
With regards to Joselito Pepito "Peter" Cayetano, he is declared a nuisance candidate after the resolution made by the COMELEC on March 27, 2007 on the disqualification case (SPA 07-019) filed by Genuine Opposition Senatorial Candidate Taguig City-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano.
TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More) Unity is a coalition composed mostly of supporters and erstwhile critics of current Philippine president, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. TEAM Unity seeks to take several Senate seats in oder to ensure the passage of President Arroyo's legislative programs and also to protect her from any impeachment attempts by the political opposition after the midterm elections.
The political party is composed by different political parties in the country such as Lakas-CMD (Lakas-Christian-Muslim Democrats), Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi), Liberal Party (Atienza Wing), Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC--Cojuangco Wing), Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP), and the Partido Demokratiko Sosyalista ng Pilipinas (PDSP).
TEAM Unity held its proclamation rally at the Cebu Coliseum last February 17, and introduced the following as standard bearers:
- Michael Defensor - (Liberal Party-Atienza Wing) former Presidential Chief of Staff (2006-2007), Secretary of Environment and Natural Resources (2001-2006), head of National Housing Authority (2001), and Quezon City representative (1995-1998; 1998-2001)
- Juan Miguel Zubiri - (Lakas-CMD), Bukidnon representative (1998-2001; 2001-2004; 2004-2007) and author of the Biofuels Act of 2006.
- Edgardo Angara - (LDP), incumbent Senator (1987-1992; 1992-1998; 2001-2007), former Executive Secretary, Secretary of Agriculture, University of the Philippines president, and current Chairperson of Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino
- Ralph Recto - (Lakas-CMD), senator and author of the E-VAT Law (2001-2007), former Batangas representative (1992-1995; 1995-1998; 1998-2001), and husband of Lipa City Mayor Vilma Santos-Recto
- Joker Arroyo - (KAMPI), incumbent Senator (2001-2007), and former Makati City Congressman (1992-1995; 1995-1998; 1998-2001), Executive Secretary (1986-1987), and prosecutor of President Joseph Estrada's impeachment trial.
- Luis "Chavit" Singson - (Lakas-CMD), governor of Ilocos Sur, chairman of League of Provinces, and lead witness of the impeachment trial of Pres. Joseph Estrada.
- Vicente Sotto III - (NPC-Cojuangco Wing), former senator (1992-1998;1998-2004), actor, TV host, and campaign manager of the former presidential candidate Fernando Poe Jr.
- Tessie Aquino-Oreta - (NPC-Cojuangco Wing), former senator (1998-2004) and congresswoman (1987-1992; 1992-1995; 1995-1998), and sister of Benigno Aquino Jr.
- Prospero Pichay Jr. - (Lakas-CMD), Surigao del Sur representative (1998-2001; 2001-2004; 2004-2007), Co-Chairman of Congressional Committee of Appointments.
(+) Leyte governor Jericho Petilla filed his candidacy on February 12, 2007 but signified interest in withdrawing in the Senate race after his mother, Remedios decided not to run as governor of Leyte. Cesar Montano was chosen to replace Petilla according to spokesperson Ace Durano.
The United Opposition (UNO) Coalition was created by Makati City mayor Jejomar Binay on June 2005 to unite all politicians against Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. The UNO started scouting candidates for the Senate as early as October 2006 to claim a large share in the Senate seats. On January 2007, UNO started short listing its nominees after a large number interested personalities wanted to join the opposition. The UNO then proclaimed that it has changed its name last February 15, 2007--from UNO to Genuine Opposition (GO) after a meeting with Senate President Manny Villar in his office in Las Piñas.
Although Senate President Manny Villar and Senate Majority Leader Francis Pangilinan are running under the Opposition, they remain independent candidates similar to their 2001 election campaign. On February 28, 2007, the GO dropped Francis Pangilinan as its adopted candidate.
- Loren Legarda - (NPC-Escudero Wing), former Vice Presidential candidate (2004) and senator (1998-2004)
- Panfilo Lacson - (Genuine Opposition), senator (2001-2007), and former Philippine National Police Chief (1998-2001) and Presidential candidate (2004)
- John Henry Osmeña - (Genuine Opposition), former senator (1971-1972; 1987-1992; 1992-1995; 1998-2004)
- Francis Escudero - (NPC-Escudero Wing), Sorsogon representative (1998-2001; 2001-2004; 2004-2007)
- Alan Peter Cayetano - (Nacionalista), Taguig City-Pateros representative (1998-2001; 2001-2004; 2004-2007), and brother of Senator Pia Cayetano (2004-2010)
- Benigno Aquino III - (Liberal Party-Drilon Wing), Tarlac representative (1998-2001; 2001-2004; 2004-2007), and son of former President Corazon Aquino and the late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr.
- Persida Rueda-Acosta- (Liberal Party-Drilon Wing), Chief Public Attorney of the Public Attorney's Office (PAO)
- Aquilino Pimentel III - (PDP-LABAN), lawyer and son of incumbent Senator and former Minister/Secretary of Interior and Local Government Aquilino Pimentel, Jr.
- Sonia Roco - (Aksyon Demokratiko), widow of the late Senator and former Presidential candidate Raul Roco (1992-1995; 1995-2001)
- Antonio Trillanes IV - (Genuine Opposition/Independent (politician)|Independent) detained Military Officer (Lieutenant Senior Grade), Magdalo Leader
- Anna Dominique Coseteng - (Independent), former senator (1992-1995; 1995-2001) and congresswoman (1987-1992)
- Manuel "Manny" Villar - (Nacionalista), senator (2001-2007), Senate President (2006-present), former Las Pinas City congressman (1995-1998; 1998-2001) and Speaker of the House (1998-2000)
- Rico Hizon - (Independent), Journalist and TV and Radio Personality
- Gringo Honasan - (Independent (politician)|Ind/Philippine Guardians Brotherhood) Senator (1995-2001; 2001-2004), cashiered military officer (with the rank of Colonel)
- Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan - (Liberal-Drilon Wing), incumbent Senator (2001-2007), Senate Majority Floor Leader (2001-present)
Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL)
- Oliver Lozano - (KBL), Marcos loyalist, lawyer, author of the First Impeachment Complaint against Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Lozano Complaint).
- Antonio "Tony" Estrella - (KBL), international civil rights lawyer, professor of Law at the Philippine Public Safety College-National Police College, member of the International Bar Association, and a recipient of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Award of Excellence and Outstanding Service for Public Interest.
(+) Muslim KBL Senatorial Candidate Mujahib Hashim was disqualified by the COMELEC in its Resolution No. 7832 because his Certificate of Candidacy (COC) says Habib "Boggs" Hashim and not Mujahib Hashim which meant that his COC is unsubscribed and unsworn therefore was disqualified and declared a nuisance candidate.
- Zosimo Jesus Paredes II - former executive director of the Presidential Commission on the Visiting Forces Agreement who resigned at the height of the Philippine government's perceived protection of convicted American rapist Daniel Smith after the latter's transfer of detention from the Makati City Jail to the US Embassy compound. He is also the brother of Horacio and Jim Paredes.
- Dr. Martin Bautista - Gastroenterologist who had spent the last 17 years working in the United States. Last year, he went home for good with his wife and four daughters and was later convinced to run under the Ang Kapatiran ticket.
- Adrian Sison - Seasoned lawyer specializing in taxation and family law.
Philippine Green Republican Party (PGRP)
Almost all candidates made use of the traditional forms of campaigning, such as newspaper, radio, and TV ads. Prospero Pichay, Manny Villar, Mike Santiago, and Loren Legarda were very visible on TV, while Tessie Aquino Oreta's TV ad campaign raised different reactions regarding her public apology being the “dancing queen” during the impeachment of President Joseph Estrada. Some candidates like Chiz Escudero, Vic Magsaysay, Francis Pangilinan and Antonio Trillanes made use of the internet by joining social networking sites and creating weblogs.
Problems, issues and controversies
The 2007 elections were surrounded with different controversies, and the most talked about is the efforts, mainly by the Administration, to amend the Philippine Constitution to shift the country from a bicameral and presidential system to a unicameral and parliamentary system, and by the opposition to oust President Arroyo through various means. The opposition is this case includes the UNO as well as other groups and individuals not in the UNO. The UNO is now known as the Genuine Opposition.
Both the administration and opposition candidates also faced issues regarding their finances: Team Unity senatorial bets Cesar Montano and Sultan Jamalul Kiram III reportedly backed out of the race, both saying that they were experiencing financial problems. Likewise, Genuine Opposition campaign manager JV Ejercito said that their resources ran out because his father, Joseph Estrada, was the only one who funded the campaign. Another problem for the GO is the frequent cancellation of their provincial sorties due to lack of local coordinators that will bring people into their rallies.
The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) itself was also facing difficulties and issues because of the fire that hit its old building last March 11, 2007, resulting in speculations of conspiracies to cheat on the May 14 election, and for publishing on the internet the names, addresses and details of registered voters.
- Philippine Daily Inquirer: Eleksyon 2007. Accessed 18 May 2009.
- Commission on Elections Press Releases: 2007 National and Local Elections. Accessed 18 May 2009.
- Senators bets Comelec fire cover-up or prelude to fraud.
- i-Site's 2007 Election Files. Accessed 18 May 2009.
- Philippines Election 2007: Report from an International Election Observer in Cotabato City. Accessed 18 May 2009.
- Commission on Elections Official Website
- Comelec okays 37 senatorial bets. Accessed 18 May 2009.
- Cesar Montano in, Leyte Gov. Petilla out of Arroyo coalition
- Defensor to run as senator; Pagdanganan eyes old post.