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

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 3 of the series covers seven candidates--incumbent and former senators Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, Nancy Binay, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Pia Cayetano, Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, and Juan Ponce Enrile.

Here are some facts you need to know:

Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Senator

Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV, Senator

Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay, Senator

Pia Cayetano, Taguig City 2nd District Representative

Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito, Senator

Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., former Senator

Juan Ponce Enrile, former Senate President


Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara

Sonny Angara Campaign Team, Curriculum Vitae

Commission on Elections, Sonny Angara Certificate of Candidacy

Sonny Angara Official Facebook Page, Sonny Angara

Sonny Angara Official Website, All about Sonny

Alagang Angara, About Senator Sonny Angara

Alagang Angara, Laws Enacted

Manila Bulletin, Teaching is hard work (Ang magturo ay ‘di biro), Oct. 8, 2018

Aurora Website, List of Winning Candidates in Province of Aurora, May 13, 2013

Bagong Aurora Website ng Bayan, Angara’s ex-mayor brod laid to rest in Baler, Jan. 23, 2013

ABS-CBN News Youtube, DZMM Teleradyo: SINO KA BA? - Sonny Angara, nagpakilala sa ‘DZMM Ikaw Na Ba?’, Jan. 31, 2019

ABS-CBN News Youtube, DZMM Teleradyo: MESSAGE SEN - Sonny Angara, may sagot sa netizens, Jan. 31, 2019

ABS-CBN News Youtube, DZMM Teleradyo: KONTRA-BERSYA Albani, Angara, & Chavez may sagot sa mga usaping idinidikit sa kanila, Jan. 31, 2019

CNN Philippines Youtube, ‘The Source’ speaks to Sonny Angara, March 12, 2019, Sonny Angara wants senior citizen pension doubled, April 5, 2019

GMA News Youtube, News To Go In Depth: Rep. Sonny Angara, Feb. 5, 2013, Sonny Angara and the Body Politic, June 26, 2014

Bills passed into law

House of Representatives, Magna Carta of Women, House Bill 4273

Senate of the Philippines. Free Higher Education for All, Senate Bill 1304

Senate of the Philippines, Universal Health Care Act, Senate Bill 1896

Senate of the Philippines, Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability (PWDs, Senate Bill 2890

House of Representatives, Expanded Senior Citizens Act, House Bill 6390

Criticisms as the champion of TRAIN Law

APECO Housing Project

Backlash on #ShowerTogether tweet amid water crisis

Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV

Bam Aquino official Facebook page, Senator Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV

Team Pilipinas, Bam Aquino, BAM’S STORY

VERA Files, VERA FILES FACT CHECK YEARENDER: VP poll recount, Dengvaxia issue spark the most fake news online in 2018, Dec. 27, 2018, Our Story

Bam Aquino campaign team, List of Laws by Sen. Bam

Bam Aquino campaign team, Priority Laws and Programs of Sen. Bam Aquino

Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay

ABS-CBN News online, “SEN. Nancy Bina (sic) launches collab book ‘Make Love Not War’ with Senyora,” Dec. 5, 2018

ABS-CBN News online, “Nancy Binay: The accidental candidate,” Feb. 8, 2013

BusinessWorld Online, “Ex-Makati vice-mayor claims Binay split payoffs into three,” Sept. 12, 2014, “Being a Binay not Nancy’s only credential; ask ma, pa,” April 7, 2013, “Nancy Binay denies ex-vice mayor’s ‘baseless’ allegations,” Sept. 11, 2014 YouTube channel, “Nancy Binay files COC, seeks Senate reelection,” Oct. 11, 2018.

GMA News Online, “Bagong akusasyon kontra sa kanilang pamilya, pinalagan ni Sen. Binay,” Sept. 11, 2014

Office of Sen. Nancy Binay, “Bakit katulad mo si Nancy Binay? campaign flyer,” n.d.

Office of Sen. Nancy Binay, “Profile,” n.d.

Office of Sen. Nancy Binay, “Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy Sombillo Binay,” n.d.

Office of the Ombudsman website, “Binays face more graft raps for P1.3 billion Makati Science building,” Aug. 3, 2017

Office of the Ombudsman website, “Ombudsman affirms charges against Binays for P2.2billion Makati carpark project,” Feb. 5, 2016

Rappler, “Nancy Binay: The accidental candidate,” Dec. 14, 2014

Senate of the Philippines website, “Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy Sombillo Binay Biography,” n.d.

Pia Cayetano

Office of Pia Cayetano, Curriculum Vitae of Pia S. Cayetano

Office of Pia Cayetano, Laws Passed by S. Pia Cayetano

Office of Pia Cayetano, Transcript of RMN Manila Interview with Pia Cayetano, March, 26, 2019

Office of Pia Cayetano, Transcript of Love Radio Bacolod Interview with Pia Cayetano, March 31, 2019, Official Website of Pia S. Cayetano, Pia aims to make senior high graduates job ready, March 27, 2019

Senate of the Philippines, Senator Pia S. Cayetano

UP Women’s Volleyball Team

ABS-CBN News, #FlashbackFriday: Pia Cayetano reminisces days with UP Lady Maroons, March 17, 2016

Plagiarism, Ethics complaint filed vs Pia Cayetano for plagiarism, Nov. 21, 2012

ABS-CBN News, Pia Cayetano also faces plagiarism complaint, Nov. 21, 2012

GMA News Online, Pia Cayetano also faces ethics complaint for alleged plagiarism, Nov. 21, 2012

Duterte’s sexist remarks

CNN Philippines, Pia Cayetano: I take up women's issues directly with President, Sept. 4, 2018

GMA News Online, Women’s advocate Pia Cayetano mum on Duterte kissing OFW, rape jokes, etc., Oct. 16, 2018, Pia Cayetano mum on Duterte’s remarks vs women, Oct. 16, 2018

Rappler, Feminists slam Duterte, Pia Cayetano for 'enabling' misogyny, May 17, 2017

Rappler, Netizens do a spit take over Duterte's 'laway mo, kunin ko' statement, Oct. 28, 2018

She Talks Asia, Pia Cayetano on PRRD in She Talks Asia, March 18, 2017

Joseph Victor "JV" Ejercito

JV Ejercito campaign team, Curriculum Vitae


Graft, malversation charges

Off-shore account

Sibling feud

Doble Plaka

Dengvaxia, Senate Bill 897

Juan Ponce Enrile

Official Gazette, Republic Act No. 8424
Official Gazette, Republic Act No. 9372
Official Gazette, Republic Act No. 9522
Official Gazette, Republic Act No. 9700
Official Gazette, Republic Act No. 9745
Official Gazette, Republic Act No. 9994

Legislative agenda and track record

Senate of the Philippines, Enrile cites need for friendlier investment climate to attract foreign business, July 23, 2012
Senate of the Philippines, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, Juan Ponce Enrile, Juan Ponce Enrile, More jobs for the Filipinos | JPE, Juan Ponce Enrile, JPE aims to lower taxes, Juan Ponce Enrile, JPE | Human Security Act of 2007, Juan Ponce Enrile, JPE | Senate President
Supreme Court of the Philippines, Enrile v. Sandiganbayan, Aug. 18, 2015
Chan Robles Virtual Law Library, Enrile v. People of the Philippines, Aug. 11, 2015
ABS-CBN News, Enrile ‘PDAF scam’ graft trial to begin on March 19, Jan. 11, 2019, All set for trial of Enrile’s ‘pork’ cases, Jan. 13, 2019
GMA News Online, Start of Enrile’s trial for graft over pork barrel scam set on March 19, Jan. 11, 2019

MOOE expenses and resignation as Senate president

Senate of the Philippines, Speech of the Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, June 5, 2013
ABS-CBN News, Enrile resigns as Senate President, June 5, 2013
GMA News Online, Enrile announces irrevocable resignation as Senate president, June 5, 2013
The Manila Times, Enrile resigns, June 5, 2013

Tete-a-tete with Bongbong Marcos, Enrile: A witness to history (Episode 1) | Bongbong Marcos, Sept. 20, 2018
ABS-CBN News, Palace: Enrile, Bongbong can’t twist history, Sept. 24, 2018, Marcos foes on JPE-BBM tete-a-tete: Pathetic, part of aging, Sept. 22, 2018
GMA News Online, Bongbong and Enrile's Martial Law video 'adding insult to injury' —Diokno family, Sept. 24, 2018

Marijuana use

Philstar.con, Juan Ponce Enrile admits using marijuana oil, Feb. 8, 2019
ABS-CBN News, Enrile says he uses marijuana oil to reduce tension, Feb. 6, 2019
ONE News, Enrile on medical marijuana


Senate of the Philippines, Juan Ponce Enrile
Senate of the Philippines, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile | Resume
Senate of the Philippines, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile | Biography
Senate of the Philippines, List of Previous Senators, Juan Ponce Enrile, Juan Ponce Enrile

Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

Bong Revilla official website, “Legislative Accomplishments,” n.d.

Bong Revilla official website, “Pangunahing Programa ni Sen. Bong Revilla,” n.d., 2004 Senatorial Election Results preview, n.d.

Sandiganbayan First Division, SB-14-CRM-0240, Dec. 7, 2018.

Senate of the Philippines website, “Bills,” n.d.

Senate of the Philippines website, “Sen. Ramon ‘Bong’ Revilla, Jr. biography,” n.d.

Plunder case

ABS-CBN News online, “From arrest to acquittal: Bong Revilla's 'pork barrel' case,” Dec. 7, 2018.

GMA News Online, “The Bong Revilla Plunder Case,” Dec. 7, 2018.

Rappler, “TIMELINE: Bong Revilla's plunder case and the pork barrel scam,” Dec. 7, 2018.

Revilla backs death penalty for plunderers YouTube channel, “Bong Revilla favors death penalty for plunderers, false accusers,” March 3, 2019.

Hayden Kho sex scandal inquiry

ABS-CBN News online, “Bong Revilla disgusted over Katrina-Hayden 'sex video,'” May 19, 2009

Abs-CBN News online, “Bong Revilla wants harsher penalty for Hayden,” Sept. 25, 2009.

SunStar Philippines, “Bong Revilla, Hayden Kho reconcile during spiritual trip,” April 13, 2014.

Senate of the Philippines website, “PRIVILEGE SPEECH OF SENATOR RAMON BONG REVILLA, JR. ‘A Doctor's Perversity,’” May 19, 2009

Hostage taking

GMA News Online, “Campaign Day 44: Bus siege props up politicians,” March 29, 2007

GMA News Online, “Hostage-taker ends crisis, releases 26 kid hostages,” March 28, 2007, “Bong Revilla on hostage crisis: "I'd rather risk my life at ma-solve yung problema,” April 1, 2007, “Luneta bus hostage, Take 2,” Aug. 25, 2010

Best Actor

ABS-CBN News online, “'Panday' named 2009 MMFF's best picture,” Dec. 29, 2009, “Ang Panday wins MMFF Best Picture, 6 awards; Bong Revilla is Best Actor,” Dec. 29, 2009

The Manila Times, “Revilla hammers competition at film fest,” Dec. 30, 2009

Motion Picture Association of America

GMA News Online, “Lakas-Kampi-CMD senatorial bets,” Nov. 18, 2009, “Ramon Revilla, Jr. Lakas-Kampi,” n.d., “Bong vows: The ‘war’ continues,” Aug. 10, 2003, “The new faces at the Senate,” July 5, 2004

Revilla jail selfie

CNN Philippines, “Police confiscate Bong Revilla's phone after jail selfie,” June 22, 2018

Manila Bulletin Online, “Bong Revilla posts ‘selfie’ on FB, PNP confiscates phone,” June 22, 2018

Rappler, “Bong Revilla's phone confiscated after jail anniversary selfie,” June 22, 2018

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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