Senatorial candidates Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Ronald Dela Rosa on Tuesday thanked the more than 18 million Filipinos who voted for them in the May 13 elections.

Go and Dela Rosa, who will be the first two Dabawenyos to become members of the Philippine Senate after 47 years, are among the top five winning senatorial candidates along with veteran senators Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe, and Pia Cayetano. The last Dabawenyo senator was the late senator Alejandro “Landring” Almendras

As of 2:50 p.m on Tuesday, Go was at No. 3 on the list of senators with 19,835,271 votes while Dela Rosa was at No. 5 with 18,228,049 votes.

Go and dela Rosa carry the banners of Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP-Laban) and were strongly endorsed by the Hugpong ng Pagbabago (HNP) party of Mayor Sara Duterte.

With their latest standing in election results, Go and dela Rosa thanked the more than 18 million Filipinos who believed in their capacity to serve the country.

“Hindi matutumbasan ng anumang salita ang pasasalamat ko sa inyong tiwala sa isang ordinaryong probinsyanong katulad ko. Tulad ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte, ako ay isang simpleng tao lamang na nangarap na makapagserbisyo ng tapat at lubos sa inyo (Nothing can measure my gratitude that you have given me who is only an ordinary person from the province. Like President Rodrigo Duterte, I am a simple person wishing to serve all of you faithfully),” Go said in a statement.

He said he worked for 21 years as an assistant to Duterte, starting when the latter was mayor of Davao City in 1998, for the future of his children. “Hindi ko inakala na ang pagtatrabaho kong ito ay magdadala sa akin sa Senado (I did not expect this work will bring me to the Senate),” he said.

Go said his victory can be attributed to the performance of the Duterte administration. He said the people supported the candidates endorsed by the President because they want the programs of the administration to continue.

“Ang mga major accomplishments ng kanyang administrasyon at ang kanyang mataas na satisfaction rating ay mga rason ng pagkakanalo ko at ng mga kasamahan namin (The major accomplishments of his administration and the high satisfaction rating are the reasons I won and also my companions),” Go said.

He assured that support and cooperation will not end in the elections, as he vowed to strengthen his service to the people.

On the other hand, dela Rosa also recognized the support of President Duterte.

He said he took up the challenge of the President to run for the Senate, seeing his sincere support to his candidacy.

Dela Rosa went to the Redemptorist Church on J.P Laurel Avenue here on Tuesday morning to pray and thank God after seeing the results of the election.

“Nagpasalamat ko sa tanang Pilipino nga nagtoo ug nag suporta kanato buot pasabot dako dako sa katibuk-an nagsalig sa akong kasidad paghimo ug balaud (I thank the Filipinos who believe in my capacity because this means they trust in my capacity to make laws),” he told reporters in an interview.

He said he fought hard, knowing that he would compete with candidates with more famous names who are already veterans in politics. Dela Rosa admitted he still could not believe that he would become a senator.

During the campaign, he said he was just expecting to land at the 12th place or even below.

When asked what measure he would push first in the Senate, dela Rosa said he wants to craft a law restoring the death penalty to deter the prevalence of illegal drugs.

The passage of a law restoring the death penalty was included in his platform during the election campaign.

Liz, a daughter of dela Rosa, also thanked the people who voted for her father.

The younger dela Rosa, who accompanied her father during the 90-day campaign, admitted that she did not expect her father to win. (PNA)

Photo Credit: facebook.com/BongGoPage