VERA FILES FACT SHEET: What you need to know about the senatorial candidates

(Fifth of seven parts) In the May 9 elections, Filipino voters will choose 12 among 64 candidates for the Senate for a term of six years. The primary job of a senator is to craft pieces of legislation to address policy gaps, improve existing laws through amendments, scrutinize the national government’s proposed annual budget, exercise oversight functions, among other duties. 

In this seven-part series, VERA Files Fact Check dug up relevant information about select senatorial hopefuls to help the electorate in making the choice.

From the Commission on Elections’ official list of 64 senatorial candidates, we narrowed it down to 31 based on the following criteria:

  • Reelectionists;
  • Former government officials; 
  • Members of, or those backed by major political parties or top presidential and vice presidential slates; and
  • Candidates that have made it at least once in the top 20 of pre-election surveys conducted by independent pollsters Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations.

The 31 candidates were then grouped based on their Senate experience – those with and those without – then arranged alphabetically.

Each profile contains the candidate’s legislative agenda, government experience or field of expertise, issues and controversies faced, relatives in government and other interesting facts. Also included are the pertinent fact checks of, or related to the candidate, done by VERA Files Fact Check and its media and academic partners in the collaboration.

Part 5 of the series covers two human rights lawyers – former Bayan Muna representative Neri Colmenares and Chel Diokno – former Makati representative Monsour Del Rosario, former National Police chief Guillermo Eleazar and former Bangsamoro Transition Commission member Samira Gutoc.

Know more about your senatorial bets:

Neri Colmenares


Manuel Monsour del Rosario III


Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno


Guillermo Lorenzo Eleazar


Samira Gutoc

Check out other senatorial bets: Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 6, and Part 7

Editor’s note: This series was produced with the help of two students of the University of the Philippines Baguio as part of their internship at VERA Files.

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Del Rosario






(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)