MANILA, Philippines (4th UPDATE) – Senator Grace Poe on Monday evening, May 9, conceded the presidential race to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Poe dropped from 2nd to 3rd place hours after the count started. As of 11:09 pm, based on 76% results transmission, she had 22% of the votes, or 7.32 million votes.
She was not too far behind second placer Manuel Roxas II, who had 22.5% of the votes or 7.53 million.
"Ako si Grace Poe...ay nagbibigay-daan kay Rodrigo Duterte...na siyang napili ng nakakarami sa ating mga kababayan," she said in a press conference shortly before midnight. (I am Grace Poe, and I am giving way to Rodrigo Duterte, whom majority of our countrymen have chosen.)
She said that, as somebody who respects democratic processes, she fully supports the process of healing and unity after the elections.
Poe's camp said she called Duterte earlier in the evening to congratulate him. Duterte so far has more than 38% of the votes, equivalent to 12.92 million.
Duterte confirmed that Poe called him while he was having dinner. "Grace called me and congratulated me. And she said, 'Mayor, I'm going to make an announcement.' So sabi ko, 'Thank you.'"
Poe said she wanted to introduce to Duterte an "electoral agenda" to which Duterte said, "I will study your proposal."
In an ABS-CBN report, Duterte said he accepted Poe's concession and promised to support her advocacies.
"Since you go for the handshake, I accept it with humility. I can work with you. Paborito mo (your favorite) is electoral reforms, I will go for it, I will support it.... Consider me as your servant," Duterte explained.
Duterte added he would personally go to Poe's office in the Senate if ever Poe sought him out.
"Anytime tawagin mo ako, ako na pupunta sa Congress, huwag ka na pumunta sa Malacanang," Duterte said.
(You can call on me anytime, and I will visit you in Congress. No need to go to Malacanang.)
Poe has 3 years left in her term as senator. – Rappler.com