Marcos vs. Robredo fight still close; Escudero, Trillanes, Honasan concede VP race


While Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo and Sen. Bongbong Marcos are still neck-to-neck in the vice-presidential race, based on the partial and unofficial results of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Transparency Server, their four political opponents had conceded defeat and urged the public to give the newly-elected officials a chance to serve.

But Marcos bewailed the sudden surge in the votes of Robredo, and noted that it was part of the “sinister plot” of the administration of President Noynoy Aquino to cheat him.

He said the administration wanted Robredo to become the Vice-president in order to succeed presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte whom they would oust through an impeachment proceedings.

He divulged that this early, the current administration has been working to install Robredo, their partymate at the Liberal Party, so that they would remain in control of Malacanang.

Political analysts said the moment that they are no longer in power, Aquino and his allies are in danger of facing various charges for several offenses and anomalies perpetrated during the outgoing administration.

As of the last partial unofficial count of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) 5:45am, Wednesday, (Philippine time), Marcos has 13,714,034. votes, with 95.35 percent of the precincts counted. Robredo was ahead with 13,937,704 votes.

PPCRV spokesperson Anna Singson said there are still 2 to 4 million votes that have not yet been transmitted and counted. The source of the PPCRV count is the Comelec Transparency Server.

The votes of the other candidates for vic- president as of press time were: Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, 5,636,445; Sen. Francis Escudero, 4,790,398; Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV , 838,100 and Sen. Gringo Honasan, 754,995.

Sen. Chiz Escudero, the former front runner in the race, ended up fourth, said the Filipino people made a judgment and he decided to “respect and accept all of them.”

The running mate of Sen. Grace Poe, who was the first to concede defeat in the presidential race, said, “the noise in politics and the campaign might be different from the elected officials’ actual performance.”

“What is more important is for the country to be healed, to be united under one leader, whoever the President will be, whether we like him or not or whether we voted for him or not,” said Escudero who remained in Sorsogon after casting his vote in his hometown.

The tail-ender in the vice-presidential race, Sen. Gringo Honasan expressed hopes that Duterte and the newly-elected would help the country’s future “for the sake of our most precious God-given next generation of citizens and leaders: our children.”

“To Mayor Rody Duterte and all our national and local candidates –- please accept our prayers and congratulations,” Honasan said in a text message to Duterte.

Honasan, running mate of Vice-president Jejomar Binay, also hoped the winning candidates would be guided by “wisdom, courage, compassion and vision” from God “to help heal unite and lead the Filipino people towards a brighter future.”

Duterte’s most recent foe, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV also conceded defeat.

“As our countrymen await the final victor, I hereby concede defeat in the vice-presidential race,” Trillanes said in a text message on Tuesday.

“I humbly submit to the will of the people for they are sovereign in our democracy. May God bless our country.”

Trillanes, a former navy officer, stressed that he respects the will of the Filipino people. “They have spoken clearly and resoundingly that they wanted Mayor Duterte to be our next president,” he said.

“I assure the Mayor and our government that I will not be a hindrance to the reform initiatives he intends to pursue in his government,” he also said.

“Having said that, I will continue with my advocacies as a legislator in our system of checks and balances. May God bless our country,” said Trillanes who had earlier accused Duterte of concealing PHP 2.4 billion hidden wealth in at least four Philippine banks.

Duterte had strongly denied the charges and insisted the accusations were merely part of a black propaganda to derail his presidential bid.

Duterte’s running mate, Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano, who ranked third in the race, also conceded defeat Tuesday morning. But he was asked by the presumptive President-elect to join his Cabinet either as Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs or Department of Justice.

He congratulated “whoever will be number one” and whoever will win as the next vice-president of the Philippines.”
He emphasized that the election is a show of the country’s democracy and whoever wins fair elections deserve the support of the electorate.

Like Honasan, Trillanes and Cayetano, Escudero returns to his role as a legislator as the country welcomes a new President. His term ends in 2019.

He has already expressed his support for the Duterte presidency and rallied behind Robredo, a fellow Bicolano. He said the public should support whoever wins at the end of the canvassing.

“ I hope that instead of continuing the rift and bickering, whoever wins, let us give them our support because they will stand as our President and vice-president, whether we voted for them or not,” he said.

“For our part, we must accept and respect the position and office that they hold now, whether we like them or not,” added Escudero.

But Escudero said he still hung on and fought on, “I’m always a student of surveys. I study the numbers and survey. But it’s my duty to all those who supported Sen. Grace and I to fight and give it everything because I don’t think it’s right to stop in the middle of the fight.”

Escudero said that his tandem with Poe continued on despite the numbers. “We knew from the start that we lacked resources and the machinery, but we did our best in giving our countrymen the option and opportunity to choose whomever they want.”

The Senator also admitted he was surprised when Cayetano overtook him. This he attributed to the sudden surge in Duterte’s numbers in surveys.

“But third is still a loser,” stated Escudero who said he will now have more time with his family.

The Senator also said his long overdue honeymoon with his wife, actress Heart Evangelista, will finally happen. They were married in February last year, but the honeymoon was set aside.”

“We just got married. We will finally have our honeymoon and our baby. There’s so much to do so it’s just ok for me. As I have said, whatever happens, I’ll be equally happy.” said Evangelista. (MCA)