Vilma Santos joining stars in Senate race

CONGRESSWOMAN ROSA VILMA SANTOS-RECTO: Exchanging post with Senator Ralph Recto

By Jeanne Michael Penaranda

Yes, actress and current Batangas congresswoman Rosa Vilma Santos Recto is joining celebrities gunning for senator in the May 9, 2022 elections.

No less than the lady lawmaker’s husband, Sen. Ralph Recto, made the announcement, adding they could swap posts in Congress – Congresswoman Vilma, who is now also a Deputy Speaker, for senator and Senator Recto for congressman in Batangas.

It was gathered that Congresswoman Vilma would be a strong senatorial candidate considering that she has been a three-term mayor of Lipa City and governor of Batangas and has a legion of followers and fans in show business.

Earlier, the ruling party, PDP-Laban, disclosed that they have in their list of senatoriables television broadcaster Raffy Tulfo, actor, singer and composer Willie Revillame and actor Robin Padilla, all of whom are figuring good in surveys.

Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone said others in the administration party’s senate slate aree Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III,  Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles, Information and Communications chief Gregorio Honasan II, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Benhur Abalos and Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar.

Others in the PDP-Laban senate list are Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda,  Senate Majority Floor Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, former senator JV Ejercito, and Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Greco Belgica.

The Nationalist People’s Coalition, on the other hand, headed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, included actress and Congresswoman Lucy Torres Gomez of the fourth district of Leyte in its Senate slate.

Congresswoman Lucy, whose husband is actor and Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez, will join the presidential tandem of Sen. Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Sotto whose other senatorial line-up

 includes former Vice President Jejomar Binay,  re-electionist Senators Sherwin Gatchalian, Richard “Dick” Gordon, Joel Villanueva, and Juan Miguel Zubiri, former senators JV Ejercito, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II, and Loren Legarda and former Commission on Elections Commissioner Goyo Larrazabal.

Lacson and Sotto would make an official announcement on their plan for 2022 on August 4.

Many other  showbiz celebrities are already priming up for a run in next year’s elections.

None of them have officially declared their political intentions, but they have to decide when the filing of Certificates of Candidacy (CoCs) begins in October.

Congresswoman Vilma Santos-Recto, the Star for All Seasons, has been endorsed by the 1Sambayan coalition as a candidate for vice president, but she has refused the offer.

Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. was reported to be  considering running for a higher post, as his six-year term will not be over until 2025. But the actor-politician will be busy helping his son Jolo win a congressional seat after a long stint as vice governor of Cavite.

Long said to be eyeing a Senate seat, GMA’s Primetime King Dingdong Dantes reiterated he has never entertained such plans, let alone seriously thresh them out with his wife Marian Rivera..

“That’s a possibility, we’ve been discussing that here in the House if she wants to run for the Senate. She might run for the Senate, I might take her place in the House as well,” Senator Recto said in a television interview.

The Recto couple’s decision will be finalized “within a month and a half to two months,” according to the senator.

“We’ve been discussing that here in the house if she wants to run for the Senate. That’s a possibility. She may run for the Senate, I might take her place in the House as well,” Sen. Recto sai.

“She’s thinking about it. Nothing final,” the senator said of his wife.

Recto will be ending his two consecutive terms in the Senate in 2022. He was elected for his second  term in the Senate in 2010.

Under the 1987 Constitution, a senator’s term of office runs for six years and they are only allowed to serve for two consecutive terms.

The Recto husband and wife are both members of the Nacionalista Party (NP), which is led by former Senate President Manuel “Manny” Villar, and is among those earlier reported to be seeking an alliance with the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP), led by Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Mayor Duterte has expressed openness to run for president next year.

But Recto said he also welcomes the upcoming presidential bid of his colleague, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, whose running mate for vice president will be Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.

“They have a wealth of experience, they have been in the Senate for a long time,” he said.

He also mentioned Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, who was likewise among those being floated as a possible contender for presidency,.

“We will discuss that in the party, and see it leads us,” Recto said when asked about who among the possible presidential candidate they will support for the 2022 polls.