BBM, SARA win big

Post insurmountable leads with 87.74% of poll returns accounted for

Former Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. was heading for a landslide victory in the race for the presidency on Monday, getting over 28.03 million votes, a partial and unofficial tally showed early Tuesday dawn.

Sara Duterte- Carpio

With at least 87.74 percent of the election returns processed, Marcos had more than twice the number of votes for his main rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, who had over 13.38 million votes.

His running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio, was also solidly in front with over 28.14 million votes, over triple that of Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, who had more than 8.36 million votes.

The UniTeam bets will be the first presidential and vice presidential candidates to secure absolute majority since 1986.

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In a televised speech aired late Monday, the former senator told his supporters: “The count is not yet done. Let’s continue our watch. Thank you for all that you have done for us.”

“We thank you all so very much. I want to thank my countrymen. They have been there, not just for the candidates… but for the bright future of our beloved Philippines,” Marcos added.

“We have a frontrunner from the start to finish,” said Prof. Ranjit Rye of the University of the Philippines-Political Science Department in describing the likely phenomenal presidential victory of Marcos.

“It’s a phenomena . . . It’s the first time that an elected president got more than 50 percent of the votes,” Rye said, noting that the Philippine presidential system has not produced a majority president in recent history.

Marcos’ lawyer and spokesman, Vic Rodriguez, also expressed optimism that the Commission on Elections will vote in their favor and junk the disqualification cases against Marcos.

“We have always been confident in our cases before the commission. We are now just waiting for the ruling of the Commission en banc. But we’re very confident that there will be no basis for them to overturn the dismissal of all the disqualification cases filed against presidential front runner Bongbong Marcos,” Rodriguez told GMA News in an interview.

In an earlier interview after casting her vote, Robredo said she remained upbeat despite trailing behind Marcos in all pre-election surveys.

“I am happy that the campaign period is over, and that I got the chance to do everything that I could without resorting to unpleasant maneuverings… We achieved so much more than we expected,” the 57-year-old Robredo said.

But in Naga City, her Bicolano supporters gathered at the Quince Martires plaza to offer prayers.

Supporters of Presidential frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos troop to his campaign headquarters along EDSA in Mandaluyong City to celebrate his wide lead over his rivals early Tuesday dawn.

While Commission on Elections chief George Garcia said that it is not yet over “until the last vote is counted,” the writing appeared to be on the wall for Marcos’s nine rivals vying to succeed President Rodrigo Duterte.

“The long lines are magnificent. Filipinos wanted to be heard and heard loudly,” Garcia said even as he acknowledged that nearly 2,000 vote counting machines had malfunctioned across the country.

More than 60,000 security personnel have been deployed to protect polling stations and election workers.

Shortly after voting got under way, three security guards were killed when gunmen opened fire at a polling station in a restive region of the southern island of Mindanao, police said.

That followed a grenade attack on Sunday in the same province that left nine people wounded.

For her part, Duterte-Carpio said she will be a supportive vice president to her running mate should they win in the polls.

“First of all, I will be a vice president who is committed to working for the Philippines. That’s our campaign, we seek out the support of all Filipinos in campaigning that we will remain committed for our community, for the nation, for the cities… and of course we will be a supportive and loyal vice president to Apo BBM in the event he wins,” she said.

She also thanked her father, President Rodrigo Duterte, for actively campaigning for her.

“I thank President Duterte for going around the country to campaign for me. I also thank everyone who has helped in the campaign since January,” she added. With AFP

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