2019 Philippine general election

The 2019 Philippine general election was conducted on May 13, 2019. A midterm election, those elected therein will take office on June 30, 2019, midway through the term of President Rodrigo Duterte.

The following positions were contested:

Under the Local Government Code and the 1987 constitution, all terms start on June 30, 2019, and end on June 30, 2022, except for elected senators, whose terms shall end on June 30, 2025. The Commission on Elections administered the election.


Date of the election

The 1987 Constitution of the Philippines states that unless otherwise provided by law, the election of members of Congress is on every second Monday of May.[1] According to Republic Act No. 7166, election for national, provincial, city and municipal elections are on the second Monday of May, since 1992, and every three years thereafter, with the president and vice president being elected in six-year intervals.[2] It has been three years since the last general election of 2016, and with no law canceling the election, this meant that the election was held on Monday, May 13, 2019.

The commission confirmed the day of the election day of May 13 when it released the calendar for the election. The important days are:[3]

  • Filing of candidacies and nominations for party-list representatives: October 11 to 12, and October 15 to 17, 2018
  • Campaign period
    • For Senate and party-list elections: February 12 to May 11, 2019
    • For district congressional and local elections: March 29 to May 11, 2019
  • Substitution of candidates: November 30 to 12:00 p.m. of May 13, 2019
  • Election silence: April 18 to 19 and May 12 to 13, 2019
  • Election day: May 13, 2019
  • Deadline of filing of expenses: June 12, 2019

Automated Election System

The Philippines adopted an automated election system (AES) for the 2019 elections. The COMELEC announced in December 2018 that the Philippine AES passed the review conducted by international systems and software testing firm, Pro V&V, in Alabama, USA.[4]

The Commission had a 'trusted build' program wherein the program to be used in the midterms in 2019 is built using the reviewed components. Commissioner Marlon Casquejo on December 17, 2018 turned over the executable file of the Election Management System (EMS) Trusted Build for the May 13, 2019 National and Local Elections (NLE) to the Commission en banc. The file will be escrowed to the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.[5]

The EMS compiled the number and profile of registered voters, their geographic locations and polling precinct information, and these were used in designing the official ballots.


The Commission on Elections made a decision on February 1, 2018 to purchase vote-counting machines (VCM), which were used in the 2016 presidential election for a price of 2.122 billion pesos for the 2019 mid-term elections.[6]

Commission on Elections membership

On October 17, 2017, the House of Representatives impeached Commission on Elections Chairman Andres D. Bautista due to allegations of manipulation of the 2016 vice presidential election in favor of Leni Robredo.[7] Hours earlier, Bautista announced his resignation effective December 31.[8] President Duterte accepted Bautista's resignation effective immediately, on October 23.[9] Duterte then appointed Sheriff Abas as new chairman, in November 2017.[10]

The Commission on Appointments confirmed Duterte's appointment of Abas as Chairman on May 2018. Abas is expected to head the commission on the 2019 elections. At the confirmation hearing, Abas defended the commission's purchase of the vote-counting machines, saying that they were purchased at one-third of the cost.[11] The commission later confirmed Duterte's appointment of Socorro Inting as Commissioner later that month.[12] Duterte also appointed Marlon S. Casquejo as Commissioner on June and undersecretary of Justice Antonio Kho as Commissioner on July, completing the commission's seven seats.[13]

Proposed cancellation

Due to the drive to change the constitution to make the Philippines a federation, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said in January 2018 that the cancellation of the 2019 elections is possible, as a transition government would be needed. Later, the president ruled out the cancellation the election.[14]

By July, after the consultative committee submitted their draft constitution to the president and Congress, Alvarez proposed to cancel the 2019 elections so that Congress can concentrate in revising the constitution.[15] Senate President Tito Sotto said that this is possible by Congress passing a law for the cancellation of the election.[16] Members of the consultative committee, on the other hand, prefer holding the election. Aquilino Pimentel Jr. said that "I suggest elections will continue (because people suspect that) we are proposing federalism so that the elections can be postponed. It is not true, not at all."[17]

Later that month, Senator Panfilo Lacson said that most senators, including those who are running for reelection, would have blocked any moves by the lower house to cancel the election. This came as Alvarez switched his preferred mode of amending the constitution via a People's Initiative. Franklin Drilon earlier said that the minority bloc would have sued if Alvarez's plan of cancelling the election pushed through.[18]

With the ouster of Alvarez by Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as Speaker in July 2018, the latter said that she preferred the elections pushing through.[19]



The 18th Congress of the Philippines shall comprise the winners of this election, together with the winning candidates in the 2016 Senate election.


Twelve seats in the Senate, or those seats that were first disputed in 1995, and were last up in 2013, were up for election.

 Summary of the May 13, 2019 Philippine Senate election results per party
PartyPopular voteBreakdownSeats
Total%SwingEnteredUpNot upGainsHoldsLossesWonCurrent 17th18th+/
PDP-Laban (Philippine Democratic Party–People's Power)76,712,22321.22% 21.22%51331044729.2% 3
Nacionalista (Nationalist Party)60,955,37416.86% 16.01%31221032416.7% 2
Liberal (Liberal Party)43,273,58311.97% 19.33%61300104312.5% 1
NPC (Nationalist People's Coalition)31,279,1918.65% 1.42%22202114312.5% 1
Lakas (People Power–Christian Muslim Democrats)22,240,7106.15% 2.07%2001001014.2% 1
LDP (Struggle of Democratic Filipinos)18,161,8625.02% 5.02%1100101114.2%
PMP (Force of the Filipino Masses)16,678,6034.61% 0.88%2000000000.0%
UNA (United Nationalist Alliance)14,974,7764.14% 3.50%2100101114.2%
Makabayan (Patriotic Coalition of the People)4,683,9421.30% 0.72%1000000000.0%
KDP (Union of Democratic Filipinos)4,185,6731.16% 1.16%5000000000.0%
KBL (New Society Movement)3,487,7800.96% 0.35%1000000000.0%
WPP (Labor Party Philippines)3,409,0100.94% 0.18%8000000000.0%
Aksyon (Democratic Action)2,757,8790.76% 1.86%1000000000.0%
Bagumbayan-VNP (New Nation-Volunteers for a New Philippines)2,059,3590.57% 0.57%1000000000.0%
PFP (Federal Party of the Philippines)1,490,7640.41% 0.41%2000000000.0%
PLM (Strength of the Masses Party)893,5060.25% 0.25%1000000000.0%
PDSP (Philippine Social Democratic Party)347,0130.10% 0.10%1000000000.0%
Akbayan (Akbayan Citizens' Action Party)Not participating010000114.2%
Independent53,959,90914.92% 16.44%183201215312.5% 2
Vacancy20002200% 2
Total votes361,551,157N/A621212666122424100%
Registered voters63,665,944100% 20.11%

House of Representatives

All seats in the House of Representatives were up for election.

 Summary of the May 13, 2019 Philippine House of Representatives election results for representatives from congressional districts
PartyPopular voteSeats
PDP-Laban (Philippine Democratic Party–People's Power)12,564,33531.28% 29.38%127948226.80% 12
Nacionalista (Nationalist Party)6,554,91116.32% 6.90%69374213.73% 5
NPC (Nationalist People's Coalition)5,644,00714.05% 2.99%61333611.76% 3
NUP (National Unity Party)3,852,9099.59% 0.08%4228258.17% 3
Liberal (Liberal Party)2,321,7595.78% 35.94%2618185.88%
Lakas (People Power–Christian Muslim Democrats)1,928,7164.80% 3.26%295113.59% 6
PFP (Federal Party of the Philippines)964,9292.40% 2.40%32251.63% 3
HNP (Faction of Change)651,5021.62% 1.62%6330.98%
Aksyon (Democratic Action)398,6160.99% 0.39%6010.33% 1
PMP (Force of the Filipino Masses)396,6140.99% 0.78%9110.33%
Bukidnon Paglaum (Hope for Bukidnon)335,6280.84% 0.49%3220.65%
PDDS (Noble Blood Association of Federalists)262,5090.65% 0.65%31000.00%
LDP (Struggle of Democratic Filipinos)252,8060.63% 0.33%3320.65% 1
UNA (United Nationalist Alliance)207,2440.52% 6.10%7000.00%
HTL (Party of the People of the City)197,0240.49% 0.35%1010.33% 1
PPP (Palawan's Party of Change)185,8100.46% 0.46%2020.65% 2
Bileg (Ilocano Power)158,5230.39% 0.39%1110.33%
PRP (People's Reform Party)138,0140.34% 0.34%2010.33% 1
Unang Sigaw (First Cry of Nueva Ecija)120,6740.30% 0.30%1000.00%
KDP (Union of Democratic Filipinos)116,4530.29% 0.29%4000.00%
Asenso Abrenio (Progress for Abrenians)115,8650.29% 0.29%1010.33% 1
Kambilan (Shield and Fellowship of Kapampangans)107,0780.27% 0.27%1000.00%
Padayon Pilipino (Onward Filipinos)98,4500.25% 0.09%2000.00%
Asenso Manileño (Progress for Manilans)84,6560.21% 0.29%2020.65% 2
Kusog Bicolandia (Force of Bicol)82,8320.21% 0.21%2000.00%
CDP (Centrist Democratic Party of the Philippines)81,7410.20% 0.17%1010.33% 1
Navoteño (Navotas Party)80,2650.20% 0.20%1110.33%
KABAKA (Partner of the Nation for Progress)65,8360.16% 0.03%1110.33%
PDSP (Philippine Social Democratic Party)56,2230.14% 0.14%3000.00%
Bagumbayan-VNP (New Nation-Volunteers for a New Philippines)33,7310.08% 0.08%1000.00%
KBL (New Society Movement)33,5940.08% 0.45%1000.00%
AZAP (Forward Zamboanga Party)28,6050.07% 0.07%1000.00%
WPP (Labor Party Philippines)9,7180.02% 0.00%2000.00%
DPP (Democratic Party of the Philippines)1,1100.00% 0.00%1000.00%
HSS (Surigao Sur Party)8160.00% 0.00%1000.00%
PGRP (Philippine Green Republican Party)7010.00% 0.01%1000.00%
Independent2,039,5005.08% 0.75%143120.65% 1
TotalA40,173,704100%N/A62723024580% 7
Valid votes40,173,70486.76%
Invalid votes6,129,68013.24%
Turnout46,303,38474.87% 6.79%
Registered voters (without overseas voters)61,843,771100% 11.48%

A. ^ Totals exclude the two legislative districts of Southern Leyte and the two legislative districts of South Cotabato. Elections for these seats will be held within six months of the 2019 general election, after they were reapportioned after the filing of candidacies was made.[20][21]

Source: Commission on Elections
  • 60 party-list seats were disputed.

Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao

The positions of governor and vice governor of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and all 24 seats in the ARMM Regional Legislative Assembly would have been up for election.

With the signing into law of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, a plebiscite was held for approval of the people. The plebiscite passed, thus the regional election for the positions in BARMM were not done on this day. It was deferred to 2022. The ARMM and its legislative assembly were succeeded respectively by the Bangsamoro Region and its parliament.


All totals as of the first quarter of 2018:[22]

  • All 81 provincial governors and vice governors, and all regular members of all of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan were up for election.
  • All 145 city mayors and vice mayors, and all regular members of all of the Sangguniang Panlungsod were up for election.
  • All 1,489 municipal mayors and vice mayors, and all regular members of all of the Sangguniang Bayan were up for election.

The ex officio members of the local legislatures, who have been elected after the 2018 barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections, shall serve until 2020.


On May 13, the number of malfunctioned vote counting machines (VCMs) has tripled this election compared to the 2016 election.[23] According to COMELEC spokesperson James Jimenez, there are 400–600 out of 85,000 VCMs across the country (representing 0.7%) encountered glitches. The machines were from the 2016 elections, and the COMELEC admitted that it could be because the machines are not new.[23]

Faulty SD cards were also reported to be the cause of malfunction. The substandard ballot forms as well as markers that bleed ink are other causes of malfunction and anomalies. The COMELEC will probe the suppliers: Triplex Enterprises Incorporated for the ballot paper and marking pens and S1 Technologies Incorporated and Silicon Valley Computer Group joint venture for the SD cards.[24]

Jimenez, however, said that the problems experienced were still within range of expected range of expectation, as problematic machines account for only less than 1 percent of total machines used.[25]

There are reports of running out of ballots in a polling precinct in Alburquerque, Bohol; affected voters have waited for two hours before the extra ballots was delivered at 3pm.[26] At around 10, the COMELEC has experienced problems with the transparency server where the unofficial tally has been stuck for hours, with only 0.38% of polling precincts have managed to transmit the results.[27][28] But experts agree that the glitches don't necessarily mean cheating took place.[29] The transmission happened, according to PPCRV Chairperson Myla Villanueva. In an interview, Villanueva said that 'results were receiver by transparency server continuously, despite media temporarily not being able to see the results.' She added that 'most importantly, the ERs match with transmitted results.' [30]

Despite the glitches, the random manual audits (RMA) conducted days after the elections show that the 2019 midterms yielded the highest rate of accuracy among the previous automated elections. Based on the 2019 RMA, the accuracy rate for the senatorial votes was at 99.9971 percent; for members of the House 99.9946 percent; and 99.9941 percent for mayor.[31]

The COMELEC recorded at least 20 people have been killed in an election-related incidents and 43 incidents during the course of election campaign as of May 13,[32] most notably the killing of AKO Bicol congressman Rodel Batocabe on December 22, 2018.[33] There are reported violence during the election day: a shooting occurred at the polling center in Panglima Estino, Sulu where six have been injured.[34]


In a Pulse Asia opinion poll dated June 24–30, 2019, 82% of those surveyed found the election to be believable, 82% said the release of the results were fast. Meanwhile, 10% of respondents found their names missing in the voters list, 4% of their registration was deactivated, 1% of the vote counting machine malfunctioned, as the issues in the election.[35]


  1. "Article VI of the Constitution of the Philippines". COMELEC.gov.ph. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  2. "Republic Act No. 7166". COMELEC.gov.ph. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  3. Gagalac, Ron (October 3, 2018). "Comelec sets calendar for 2019 polls". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved October 10, 2018.
  4. Patinio, Ferdinand. "'Trusted build' program for 2019 automated polls set Dec. 14". www.pna.gov.ph. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  5. Patinio, Ferdinand. "Casquejo presents 'trusted build' file for 2019 polls to Comelec". www.pna.gov.ph. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  6. Lagrimas, Nicole-Anne C. (February 1, 2018). "Comelec to purchase P2.12B worth of vote-counting machines used in 2016 for 2019 polls". GMA News. Retrieved February 1, 2018.
  7. Morallo, Audrey (October 11, 2017). "House votes to impeach Comelec Chairman Bautista". The Philippine Star. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  8. Ager, Malia; Santos, Tina (October 11, 2017). "Comelec chair Andres Bautista resigns". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved October 11, 2017.
  9. "BREAKING: Comelec Chair Bautista's resignation effective immediately – Malacañang". Rappler. October 23, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  10. Ranada, Pia. "Sheriff Abas is new Comelec chairman". Rappler. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  11. Sy, Marvin (May 24, 2018). "Comelec chief Sheriff Abas gets Commission on Appointments nod". philstar.com. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  12. Esmaquel, Paterno II (May 30, 2018). "CA confirms Comelec Commissioner Socorro Inting". Rappler. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  13. Esguerra, Anthony Q. (July 16, 2018). "Kho takes oath as new Comelec Commissioner". INQUIRER.net. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  14. Colcol, Erwin (January 3, 2018). "No elections in 2019 possible, says Alvarez". GMA News Online. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  15. Porcalla, Delon (July 12, 2018). "Speaker Alvarez proposes no-elections in 2019 for federalism". The Philippine Star. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  16. Ager, Maila (July 12, 2018). "Sotto: Congress may pass law to postpone 2019 polls". INQUIRER.net. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  17. Ramirez, Robertzon (July 14, 2018). "Concom to Congress: Stop talking 'no-elections' in 2019". The Philippine Star. Retrieved July 15, 2018.
  18. Ager, Maila (July 18, 2018). "Lacson: Senators to fight 'tooth and nail' against 'No-el' moves". INQUIRER.net. Retrieved July 19, 2018.
  19. Cepeda, Mara (July 27, 2018). "Arroyo opposes proposal to scrap 2019 elections". Rappler. Retrieved August 3, 2018.
  20. Reyes, Ronald O. (March 28, 2019). "Comelec suspends election for Southern Leyte congressmen". Sunstar. Retrieved May 24, 2019.
  21. Marquez, Consuelo (April 12, 2019). "Comelec postpones elections of representatives in South Cotabato's first district". Sunstar. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
  22. "Philippine Statistics Authority | Republic of the Philippines". nap.psa.gov.ph. Archived from the original on April 13, 2012. Retrieved July 13, 2018.
  23. "Comelec admits vote counting machine issues tripled in 2019 polls". ABS-CBN News.
  24. "COMELEC to probe suppliers of defective markers, SD cards". Rappler.
  25. "Problem on VCMs within Comelec's 'range of expectations'". Manila Bulletin.
  26. "Bohol precinct runs out of ballots". Philippine Daily Inquirer.
  27. "Comelec server problem delays unofficial tallies". ABS-CBN News.
  28. "Comelec: Slow unofficial count due to 'technical issue'". Rappler.
  29. "Transmission glitches don't necessarily mean electoral fraud". Rappler.
  30. "For the record: Myla Villanueva". GMA News.
  31. "2019 RMA results show highest accuracy in 4 past elections". Manila Bulletin.
  32. "At least 20 killed in election-related violence since December 2018". Rappler.
  33. "Who is Rodel Batocabe?". Rappler.
  34. "6 wounded in shooting near voting center in Sulu". CNN Philippines. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  35. "9 in 10 Filipinos want automated polls to continue — Pulse Asia". Philstar.
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