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

Second of six parts

On May 13, Filipinos will cast their ballots to choose the country’s next set of lawmakers and local government officials. Among the more than 18,000 positions to be filled are 12 senators who will impact, if not determine, the course of the nation’s policies in the coming years.

In this series, VERA Files Fact Check compiled relevant information on this election’s Senate hopefuls to aid the public in making their decision.

From the Commission on Elections’ 62 candidates, we narrowed the list down to 40 based on the following criteria:

  • Reelectionists;
  • Members of, or those backed by political parties; or
  • Candidates that have made it at least once in the top 12 of pre-election surveys conducted by independent pollsters Pulse Asia and Social Weather Stations.

The 40 candidates were grouped based on their Senate experience--those with and those without--then arranged alphabetically. Each profile contains the candidate’s legislative platform, 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, as done by VERA Files Fact Check and its media and academic partners in the collaboration.

Part 2 of the series covers six candidates --former Biliran representative Glenn Chong, former Bayan Muna party-list representative Neri Colmenares, former Corrections and Philippine National Police chief Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, lawyer Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, lawyer Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon and former special assistant to the president Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go.

Here are some facts you need to know:

Glenn Chong, former Biliran representative

Neri Colmenares, former Bayan Muna representative

Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, former Corrections and PNP chief

Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, lawyer

Lorenzo “Larry” Gadon, lawyer

Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, former Special Assistant to the President


Glenn Chong

ABS-CBN News online, “VP Leni asks PET to resolve motion to investigate leak of COMELEC data,” Nov. 30, 2018

Chong, G., Glenn Chong Curriculum Vitae, n.d.

GMA News Online, “Glenn Chong not part of Bongbong’s legal team, lawyers tell PET,” Nov. 22, 2018.

House of Representatives website, Roster of Philippine Legislators, n.d., “Marcos camp says Glenn Chong not part of its legal team in poll protest,” Nov. 22, 2018

News5Everywhere Youtube channel, “Aplikante sa Senado - Glenn Chong,” Feb. 19, 2019.

Philippine News Agency, “Chong presses for NBI probe on aide's slay,” Jan. 3, 2019.

Rappler, “Marcos legal team disowns Glenn Chong in VP protest,” Nov. 22, 2018.

Neri Colmenares

Neri Colmenares Campaign Team, Curriculum Vitae

Neri Colmenares official Facebook page, Human right[s] and public interest cases, April 5, 2019, Colmenares vows to remove VAT on basic goods if elected senator, Oct. 11, 2018

CNN Philippines, Get to know the candidates in #TheFilipinoVotes: Senatorial Forum Part 2, Jan. 27, 2019, Neri Colmenares wants badly to be the first Leftist in the Senate, Nov. 27, 2018

Manila Times, Colmenares takes another crack at Senate, Oct. 11, 2018

Interaksyon, Why Neri Colmenares is running for Senate second time, Oct. 11, 201, Makabayan bet aims for a Senate seat anew, Oct. 11, 2018, House Bill 4970, 16th Congress, House Bill 5140, 16th Congress, House Bill No. 5990, 15th Congress, House Bill No. 98, 15th Congress, House Bill 5842, 16th Congress, Leftist lawmakers seek TRO vs Meralco price hike, Dec. 19, 2013, SC urged to act on six-year-old case vs Meralco, Feb. 8, 2019

ABS-CBN News, Makabayan bloc urges SC to act on 2013 petition vs Meralco rate hike, Feb. 8, 2019

GMA News Online, SC stops Meralco from enforcing rate increase indefinitely, April 22, 2014

Manila Times, SUPREME COURT AGAIN EXTENDS TRO VS. MERALCO, April 22, 2014, Neri Colmenares files COC for senator with Angel Locsin in tow, Oct. 12, 2015

Bulatlat, Celebrities, activists want Neri Colmenares in senate, July 7, 2015

Manila Bulletin, Makabayan Coalition endorses 9-person senatorial slate for an independent senate, March 3, 2019

ABS-CBN News, Makabayan Coalition backs 9 Senate bets, March 3, 2019

CNN Philippines, Makabayan bloc endorses 9 senatorial bets in May polls, March 4, 2019

Manila Bulletin, Duterte backs arrest, prosecution of Satur Ocampo, Dec. 3, 2018

GMA News Online, Duterte backs arrest of Satur Ocampo, claims Bayan Muna is a communist front, Dec. 3, 2018, Duterte backs arrest of Satur Ocampo, et al.; tags Bayan Muna as NPA-front, Dec. 3, 2018

GMA News Online, Colmenares denies being a communist, laments ‘red-tagging’ of rights defenders, Jan. 15, 2019

Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa

ABS-CBN News, Anak ni Bato: Rock Dela Rosa joins PNPA, May 1, 2017

ABS-CBN News, Headstart: Senatorial candidate Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa, March 11, 2019

CHR, CHR calls for the investigation into the abduction and killing of Jee Ick Joo, March 2, 2018

GMA News, Reportedly sacked for pro-Duterte post, Dela Rosa is next PNP chief, May 18, 2016, Fight to the death: 1-star officer is new PNP chief, May 19, 2016, Son of ‘Bato’ joins PNP academy, May 1, 2017

PNP, Dela Rosa assumes command as 21st chief PNP, July 1, 2016

PCOO, President Duterte names Albayalde as new PNP Chief, April 5, 2018

Rappler, Duterte’s ‘Bato’: Who is Ronald Dela Rosa?, May 19, 2016

Senate of the Philippines, Committee Report No. 46, March 17, 2017

SunStar, Duterte picks Dela Rosa as next PNP Chief, May 19, 2016

The Philippine Star, Davao’s ‘The Rock’ is next PNP Chief, May 19, 2016

The Philippine Star, ‘Bato’ proud of son for becoming PNPA cadet, Dec. 2, 2017

University of Southeastern Philippines, 2011 Annual Recognition Alumnus/Alumna Awards

Jose Manuel "Chel" Diokno

Chel Diokno website

Chel Diokno Campaign Team, Curriculum Vitae

Commission on Elections, Chel Diokno Certificate of Candidacy

Otso Diretso Official Facebook Page, Profile of Chel Diokno

Wilfredo G. Villanueva Blog, No Justice, No Progress: Second Installment of a Two-part Article on Dean Chel Diokno, Nov. 9. 2018

Lorenzo "Larry" Gadon, Meet Atty. Larry Gadon


GMA Public Affairs, Investigative Documentaries: Atty. Larry Gadon, bakit nga ba galit sa mga ‘bobo?’, Feb. 22, 2019

GMA News, REPLAY: Debate 2019: The GMA Senatorial Face-Off, Feb. 9, 2019

Manila Bulletin, (TRANSCRIPT) HARAPAN 2019: The ABS-CBN Senatorial Town Hall Debate, Feb. 17, 2019

ABS-CBN News, DZMM Teleradyo: Gadon calls Trillanes, Hontiveros, Pangilinan ‘bobo’, Dec. 4, 2018

Junriel Lleander, ATTY. LARRY GADON with Thinking Pinoy Live INterview (sic) Today February 20, 2019, Who is Larry Gadon, the man behind one Sereno impeachment complaint, Oct. 6, 2017

Rappler Youtube Channel, Gadon curses, raises middle finger at Sereno supporters, April 9, 2018, 4TH disbarment case filed against Sereno accuser Gadon, April 25, 2018

CNN Philippines, Blogger files 4th disbarment case vs Gadon, April 24, 2018

ABS-CBN News, New disbarment case filed against Gadon, April 24, 2018

GMA News Online, Gadon wants NAIA to be renamed to MIA, May 25, 2018

SunStar Pampanga, Lawyer leads petition to restore MIA’s name, May 31, 2018

Pilipino Star Ngayon, NAIA, giit ibalik sa MIA, May 26, 2018

GMA News, NTG: Oplan e-Leksyon: The senatorial interviews: Larry Gadon, March 29, 2016

Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go

ABS-CBN News, Comelec wants Bong Go posters removed from Malasakit Centers, March 25, 2019

ABS CBN News, Duterte aide Bong Go faces Senate probe on Navy ship deal, Feb. 19, 2018

ABS-CBN News, Rody and Bong: Meet Duterte’s Go-to guy, June 13, 2016

GMA News, No time for love for Duterte’s chief aide, May 12, 2016

GMA News Online, Duterte's top aide Bong Go has a world-class 'photobomber', Sept. 8, 2016, A photobomber in Duterte campaign, May 8, 2016, Comelec asks Go to take down ‘Malasakit’ posters, March 25, 2019

Interaksyon, TIMELINE | What we need to know: Bong Go and the P16-B Navy frigate deal, Feb. 19, 2018

Mindanews, Bong Go on running for senator: “started as a joke but…”, March 18, 2018

PCIJ, P2.4-B pre-campaign ads: Bong Go, Marcos, Roxas, Roque top spenders, Feb. 13, 2019, Comelec: Remove Malasakit Center posters with Bong Go face, March 25, 2019, The man they call Bong Go, March 25, 2019

The Philippine Star, No meddling in Navy frigate deal - Go, Feb. 20, 2018

The Philippine Star, National photobomber becomes ‘selfie king’, Nov. 15, 2017

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.)


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About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

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