Elections to the Senate of the Philippines is done via plurality-at-large voting; a voter can vote for up to twelve candidates, with the twelve candidates with the highest amount of votes being elected. The 24-member Senate uses staggered elections, with only one-half of its members up for election at any given time, except for special elections, which are always held concurrently with regularly scheduled elections.
Manner of choosing candidates
With the advent of the nominal multi-party system in 1987, political parties have been able to muster enough candidates to fill their 12-person ticket. This means they have to join coalitions or alliances in order to present a full slate. If a slate is still not complete, guest candidates may be invited, even from rival slates. A guest candidate may not be compelled to join the campaign rallies of the slate that invited him/her. A party may even not include their entire ticket to a coalition slate, or assign their candidates to competing slates. A candidate may defect from one slate to another or be unaffiliated with any slate while the campaign is ongoing. The Commission on Elections uses the names of the political parties on the ballot.
In Third Republic elections under the nominal two-party system, the Liberal Party and the Nacionalista Party often presented complete 8-person tickets; a party may even exceed the 8-person slate due to perceived popularity.
Once elected, the parties involved in the different slates may form alliances with one another totally different to the alliances prior to the election.
Manner of election
1916 to 1935
From 1916 to 1934, the country was divided into 12 senatorial districts. Eleven of these districts elected two senators each. In 1916, each district elected two senators (plurality-at-large): one was to serve a six-year term, the other a three-year term. On each election thereafter, one seat per district was up (first past the post). The senators from the 12th district were appointed by the American governor-general for no fixed term.
In 1935, the electorate approved in a plebiscite a new constitution that abolished the Senate and instituted a unicameral National Assembly of the Philippines. The members of the Constitutional Convention originally wanted bicameralism but could not agree on how the senators shall be elected: via the senatorial districts or being nationally elected.
1941 to 1949
The electorate in 1940 approved in a plebiscite amendments to the constitution that restored the bicameral Congress of the Philippines, including the Senate. Elections for the Senate were held on every second Monday of November of every odd-numbered year; however, the old senatorial districts were not used anymore; instead, the 24-member Senate was to be elected on a nationwide at-large basis. As the first election in the new setup, the voters in the 1941 election voted for 24 senators. However, they were also given the option of writing the party's name on the ballot, wherein all of the candidates of the party would receive votes. With the 24 candidates with the most number of votes winning in the election, the ruling Nacionalista Party won all 24 seats in a landslide victory. The winners included Rafael Martinez, who replaced Norberto Romualdez, who died the day before the election; Martinez won because of voters who had selected the party, rather than specifying a particular candidate.
Due to World War II, Congress was not able to convene until June 1945. President Sergio Osmeña called for special sessions to convene the 1st Congress of the Commonwealth of the Philippines until elections could be organized. Originally, to observe the staggered terms, the eight candidates with the most votes were to serve for eight years, the next eight for four years, and still the next eight for two years. However, several members had died and others were disqualified because they were charged with collaboration with the Japanese, so the Senate conducted a lottery to determine which senators would serve until 1946 and which would serve until 1947. In the 1946 election, voters elected 16 senators; the first eight candidates with the highest amount of votes were to serve until 1951, the next eight were to serve until 1949.
1951 to 1971
Electoral reform enacted in 1951 eliminated block voting, which had given voters the option of writing the party's name on the ballot. In the 1951 election, voters voted for eight senators for the first time and each voter had to write at most eight names for senator (writing the party's name would result in a spoiled vote). Noting that after the elimination of block voting, many people voted for a split ticket, political scientist David Wurfel has remarked that "The electoral reform of 1951 was thus one of the most important institutional changes in the postwar Philippines, making the life of the opposition easier."
In September 1973, President Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law and assumed legislative powers. In the 1973 plebiscite, the electorate approved a new constitution that abolished Congress and replaced it with a unicameral National Assembly, which would ultimately be the Batasang Pambansa (parliament).
1987 to present
Marcos was overthrown as a result of the 1986 People Power Revolution. The new president, Corazon Aquino, appointed a Constitutional Commission to write a new constitution. The electorate approved the constitution in 1987, restoring the bicameral Congress. Instead of electing 8 senators every two years, the new constitution provided that 12 senators would be elected every three years. As part of the transitory provisions, the voters elected 24 senators in the 1987 election, to serve until 1992. In the 1992 election, the voters still voted for 24 candidates, but the first 12 candidates with the most number of votes were to serve until 1998, while the next 12 were to serve only until 1995. Thereafter, 12 candidates are elected every second Sunday of May every third year since 1995.
|Senate abolished from 1935 to 1941. Senators elected in 1941 will not serve until 1945.|
|Senate abolished from 1972 to 1987.|
- ^1 Out of the 24 senators-elect, the first eight candidates with the highest number of votes will serve for six years, the next eight for four years, and the next eight for two years. However, this was not followed due to the intervention of World War II.
- ^2 Out of the 16 senators-elect, the first eight candidates with the highest number of votes will serve for six years, and the next eight for four years.
- ^3 A special election for the seat vacated by Fernando Lopez who was elected vice president on 1949 was held.
- ^4 A special election for the seat vacated by Carlos P. Garcia who was elected vice president on 1953 was held.
- ^5 Out of the 24 senators-elect, the first twelve candidates with the highest number of votes will serve for six years, and the next twelve for three years.
- ^6 Teofisto Guingona, Jr. was appointed vice president on 2001; the thirteenth-placed candidate in the election will serve for Guingona's unexpired term of three years.
List of results
Senatorial districts era
Since the at-large era, a high-scoring winner can be seen as a strong contender for a future presidential or vice-presidential bid.
- Key: Darker shade was a midterm election.
|Election||Topnotcher||Party||Future election to higher office result||Result (Party/coalition totals)|
|Administration ticket||Primary opposition ticket||Others|
|1941||Claro M. Recto||Nacionalista||Lost 1957 presidential election||24 Nacionalistas|
|1946||Vicente Francisco||Nacionalista (Liberal wing)||Lost 1949 vice presidential election||7 Nacionalistas||8 Nacionalistas (Liberal wing)||1 Popular Front|
|1947||Lorenzo Tañada||Liberal||Lost 1957 vice presidential election||6 Liberals||2 Nacionalistas|
|1949||Quintin Paredes||Liberal||8 Liberals|
|1951||José P. Laurel||Nacionalista||9 Nacionalistas|
|1953||Fernando Lopez||Democratic||Won 1965 vice presidential election||5 Nacionalistas||2 Democrats
|1955||Pacita Madrigal-Warns||Nacionalista||9 Nacionalistas|
|1957||Gil Puyat||Nacionalista||6 Nacionalistas||2 Liberals|
|1959||Ferdinand Marcos||Liberal||Won 1965 presidential election
Won 1969 presidential election
Won 1981 presidential election
Victory at the 1986 presidential election disputed
|5 Nacionalistas||2 Liberals||1 Nationalist Citizens'|
|1961||Raul Manglapus||Progressive||2 Nacionalistas||4 Liberals||2 Progressives|
|1963||Gerardo Roxas||Liberal||Lost 1965 vice presidential election||4 Liberals||4 Nacionalistas|
|1965||Jovito Salonga||Liberal||Lost 1992 presidential election||2 Liberals||5 Nacionalistas||1 Nacionalist Citizens'|
|1967||Jose Roy||Nacionalista||6 Nacionalistas||1 Liberal||1 independent|
|1969||Arturo Tolentino||Nacionalista||Victory at the 1986 vice presidential election disputed||6 Nacionalistas||2 Liberals|
|1971||Jovito Salonga||Liberal||(see 1965)||3 Nacionalistas||5 Liberals|
|1987||Jovito Salonga||LABAN||(see 1965)||22 LABAN||2 GAD|
|1992||Vicente Sotto III||LDP||16 LDP||5 NPC||2 Lakas
|1995||Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo||LDP||Won 1998 vice presidential election
Won 2004 presidential election
|9 Lakas-Laban||3 NPC|
|1998||Loren Legarda||Lakas-NUCD-UMDP||Lost 2004 vice presidential election
Lost 2010 vice presidential election
|5 Lakas||7 LAMMP|
|2001||Noli de Castro||Independent||Won 2004 vice presidential election||8 PPC||4 Puwersa ng Masa||1 independent|
|2004||Mar Roxas||Liberal||Lost 2010 vice presidential election||7 K-4||5 KNP|
|2007||Loren Legarda||NPC||(see 1998)||3 TEAM Unity||7 GO||2 independents|
|2010||Bong Revilla||Lakas-Kampi||TBD||2 Lakas-Kampi||3 Liberals||2 Nacionalistas
|2013||Grace Poe||Independent||TBD||9 Team PNoy||3 UNA|
- Guest candidate of Team PNoy and Makabayan.
- Guest candidate of Makabayan.
|3.||Miriam Defensor Santiago||PRP||17,344,742||45.47%||8.31%|
|5.||Juan Ponce Enrile||PMP||15,665,618||41.06%||6.94%|
|7.||Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.||Nacionalista||13,169,634||34.52%|
|10.||Sergio Osmeña III||Independent||11,656,668||30.56%|
|12.||Teofisto Guingona III||Liberal||10,277,352||26.94%|
|15.||Joey de Venecia||PMP||8,375,043||21.95%|
|24.||Emilio Mario Osmeña||PROMDI||3,980,370||10.43%|
|26.||Satur Ocampo||Bayan Muna||3,539,345||9.28%|
|28.||Ramon Mitra III||Nacionalista||2,744,090||7.19%|
|31.||Silvestre Bello III||Lakas-Kampi||2,468,276||6.47%|
|33.||Imelda Papin||Bangon Pilipinas||1,972,667||5.17%|
|37.||JV Larion Bautista||PMP||1,415,117||3.71%|
|41.||Ramoncito Ocampo||Bangon Pilipinas||944,725||2.48%|
|42.||Kata Inocencio||Bangon Pilipinas||888,771||2.33%|
|43.||Jovito Palparan, Jr.||Independent||825,208||2.16%|
|44.||Alex Tinsay||Bangon Pilipinas||728,339||1.91%|
|45.||Zafrullah Alonto||Bangon Pilipinas||712,628||1.87%|
|46.||Reginald Tamayo||Ang Kapatiran||680,211||1.78%|
|49.||Shariff Ibrahim Albani||KBL||508,558||1.33%|
|50.||Rizalito David||Ang Kapatiran||504,259||1.32%|
|51.||Israel Virgines||Bangon Pilipinas||455,332||1.19%|
|52.||Zosimo Paredes||Bangon Pilipinas||437,439||1.15%|
|53.||Adrian Sison||Ang Kapatiran||418,055||1.10%|
|55.||Jo Aurea Imbong||Ang Kapatiran||362,457||0.95%|
|56.||Adz Nikabulin||Bangon Pilipinas||346,848||0.91%|
|58.||Manuel Valdehuesa, Jr.||Ang Kapatiran||201,118||0.53%|
|59.||Hector Tarrazona||Ang Kapatiran||168,386||0.44%|
|60.||Ma. Gracia Riñoza-Plazo||Ang Kapatiran||151,755||0.40%|
- Change in percentage point as compared from the 2004; other candidates may had joined in the 2007 election.
- John Gray Geer, ed. (2004). Public opinion and polling around the world: a historical encyclopedia, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO, Inc. p. 690. ISBN 1-57607-911-2.
- "History of the Senate". Official website of the Senate. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
- Quezon, Manuel III (2009-06-15). "Reviewing the prewar plebiscites". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-01-14.
- Quezon, Manuel III (2006-11-20). "Block voting". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2010-12-31.
- Quezon, Manuel III (2008-04-10). "Senate the victim of a design flaw". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2011-01-13.
- R., Lazo (2009). Philippine governance and the 1987 constitution. Rex Bookstore, Inc. ISBN 978-971-23-4546-3.
- Araneta, Sandy (2001-07-24). "It’s final: Honasan is No. 13". The Philippine Star. Retrieved 2011-01-13.
- Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz, Christof Hartmann, ed. (2001). Elections in Asia and the Pacific: South East Asia, East Asia, and the South Pacific. Oxford University Press. pp. 223–224. ISBN 978-0-19-924959-6.
- "NBOC Resolution No. 0010-13". Commission on Elections en banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers. 2013-06-05. Retrieved 2013-06-09.
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