TWO former presidential aspirants are among those who will be running for a Senate seat in the May 2022 polls after filing their respective certificates of candidacy on Thursday.

Jejomar C. Binay, who was vice president during the late President Benigno S.C. Aquino’s administration and lost in the 2016 presidential elections, is running as senator next year under his United Nationalist Alliance.

Ex-defense secretary Gilberto Eduardo Gerardo C. Teodoro, Jr., who lost in 2010 to Mr. Aquino, filed a certificate through a representative as he tested positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). He is running under the People’s Reform Party.

Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter S. Cayetano, who was President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s running mate in 2016 but lost to Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo, is also running for the Senate. He was previously elected senator for several terms from 2007 to 2017.

Two human rights lawyers, Neri J. Colmenares and Jose Manuel T. Diokno, Jr., who both previously announced their intent to run for the Senate formalized their candidacies Thursday.

Mr. Colmenares said he plans to push for free medicine and medical operations, as well as provide free COVID-19 testing.

Mr. Colmenares said that he will also launch a crackdown on contractual employment, corrupt officials, and human rights violations under the Duterte administration. “We will oppose a Marcos and a Duterte in Malacañang,” adding that he was still hopeful for a united opposition.

Mr. Diokno, chair of the Free Legal Assistance Group, said he plans to reform the judicial system, improve livelihood, and address concerns of economic and medical frontliners.

Other senatorial aspirants are Carl Balita, a former radio show host and health professional running under Aksyon Demokratiko.

He said he aims to address three major issues: the health, economic and educational crisis.

For the House of Representatives, two party-list groups from the progressive Makabayan bloc filed their certificate of nomination and acceptance Thursday for another term in the lower chamber.

Kabataan Party-list filed their certificate of nomination and acceptance with its national president, Raoul Danniel A. Manuel, as first nominee. He was accompanied by incumbent Representative Sarah Jane I. Elago.

The party is currently facing a disqualification case before the Comelec filed by the national task force against communism for alleged links to armed rebels.

They will push for the safe return to physical classes and government protection for fresh graduates.

Meanwhile, Bayan Muna also filed its certificate of nomination and acceptance as Teodoro A. Casiño seeks for a return to the lower chamber as their first nominee. 

The two parties join Anakpawis, Gabriela Women’s Party-list, and ACT Teachers who have filed their candidacies earlier this week.

As of Thursday, more than 150 party-list groups have signed up for next year’s polls. Other groups that have filed their candidacies include Nurses United, Ako Bicol, and Kusug Tausug.

There will be 63 party-list seats in the next Congress.

Meanwhile, House Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez and Deputy Speakers Rufus B. Rodriguez and Bienvenido M. Abante, Jr. filed for releection. They represent Leyte, Cagayan de Oro, and Manila, respectively.

Filing of certificates of candidacy is until Oct. 8 while the substitution of candidates will be allowed until Nov. 15.  Alyssa Nicole O. Tan and Russell Louis C. Ku