CHICAGO (FAXX/jGLi) —Filipino-American voters went mostly for Administration-backed candidates in Monday’s national elections, according to the Philippine Embassy, which sees this as an affirmation of support for the reforms initiated by President Benigno S. Aquino III.
The results of the official canvass of election returns from across the United States released by the Embassy on Wednesday show administration candidates taking 10 of the 12 seats that were up for grabs in the Senate.
Administration candidate Francis Escudero topped the Senate race in the US with 9,464 votes followed by Alan Peter Cayetano, 9,174; Grace Poe,9,029; Loren Legarda, 8,696; Aquilino Pimentel III, 8,448; Bam Aquino,8,267; Juan Edgardo Angara, 7,735; Richard Gordon, 7,291; Ramon Magsaysay Jr., 7,187; Riza Hontiveros, 6,983; Antonio Trillanes, 6,521 and Juan Miguel Zubiri, 4,908. All were administration candidates except for Gordon and Zubiri.
“This is a vote of confidence for the President and the reforms he has undertaken since he assumed office in 2010,” Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. said in a statement shortly after the Special Board of Canvassers at the Embassy concluded its canvass of election returns from the US mainland and Hawaii.
A total of 14,098 ballots were received from the 93,229 registered Filipino-American voters in areas served by the Embassy in Washington, DC and the Consulates General in Agana, Chicago, Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco during the absentee voting process from 13 April to 13 May.
Among the party-list groups vying for seats in the House of Representatives, it was the OFW Family Club Inc. that garnered the most votes from the Filipino-American Community with 1,470 votes, followed by the Coalition of Association of Senior Citizens in the Philippines, 743; Gabriela Women’s Party, 642; Citizens Battle Against Corruption, 609; Bayan Muna, 585; and Migrante Sectoral Party of Overseas Filipinos and their Families, 460.
Others in the list were You Against Corruption and Poverty, 404; Akbayan Citizens Action Party, 358; Pilipinos with Disabilities, 291; Ang Nars Inc., 262; Magdalo Para sa Pilipino, 231; Alyansa ng OFW Party, 231; Advocacy for Teacher Empowerment Through Action, Cooperation and Harmony Towards Education Reforms, 214; Agbiag! Timpuyog Ilocano Inc., 159; and Act Teachers Party-List, 143
“I would like to thank all our kababayans for keeping their faith in the democratic process by participating in the mid-term elections,” Ambassador Cuisia said.
Although the turnout for the 2013 midterm elections represented only 15 percent of the number of registered voters, Ambassador Cuisia said he was still more than satisfied as the number of Filipino-Americans voters actually went up by 282 percent compared to the 3,602 who voted in the 2007 mid-term elections.
“The efforts exerted by our kababayans to cast their votes are truly encouraging and speak volumes of their commitment to the ideals of democracy wherever they are,” Ambassador Cuisia said as he cited instances where voters proceeded to polling precincts just to be able to cast their ballots.
Ambassador Cuisia also thanked Consuls General Marciano Paynor in San Francisco; Mario De Leon in New York; Hellen Dela Vega in Los Angeles; Julius Torres in Honolulu; Leo Herrera-Lim in Chicago; and Bayani Mangibin in Agana and other Foreign Service staff for helping ensure that the elections are successful.
The Ambassador cited the efforts of Philippine Foreign Service Posts in the US to reach out and convince the Filipino-American Community to register and participate in the elections. He pointed in particular their decision to keep the doors to the polling centers open until the last minute on Monday to ensure that all votes sent in are counted.
“I salute the men and women of the foreign service for really going out of the way to ensure that our kababayans are able to exercise their right to vote,” Ambassador Cuisia said. He added that he is confident that more Filipino-Americans would be able to register and vote in the 2016 presidential elections. (FAXX/jGLi)