Photo by Martin San Diego/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Hours after chief rival Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr "claimed" victory in the 2016 vice presidential election, Liberal Party candidate and count front-runner Leni Robredo's camp cited the ongoing vote count as proof that victory is theirs to claim.
Boyet Dy, Robredo's head of policy, made the announcement on Sunday, May 15. Robredo, her family, campaign team and supporters earlier gathered at the Church of the Gesu in the Ateneo de Manila University campus in Quezon City for a multisectoral thanksgiving mass.
"Sa huli, si Leni ang mananalo (In the end, Leni will win)," said Dy, who once served as aide to the late interior secretary Jesse Robredo, the outgoing Camarines Sur representative's husband.
Speaking to a crowd of supporters gathered at the Ateneo de Manila University, Dy said Robredo won in 10 regions and Marcos, only in 7.
“Sa kasalukuyang tala ng Comelec na makukuha mula sa kanilang website as of 2:00 pm, pumasok na ang 99.51% ng mga bilang mula sa lahat ng siyudad at munisipyo sa bansa. Siyam na munisipiyo na lang ang wala pang naitatalang COC,” said Dy.
(Based on the Comelec website, as of 2 pm today, 99.51% of votes from each city and municipality all over the country have come in. Only 9 towns have yet to submit their Certificates of Canvass.)
The municipalities that have yet to transmit data include:
Citing Comelec data, Dy said Robredo had a lead over 257,567 votes over Marcos. So even if the 168,988 votes from the remaining areas come in, said Dy, it would be impossible for Marcos to overtake Robredo.
“Dahil po rito, buong-buo ang ating loob at galak sa matagal nang pinakahihintay na balita: sa ngayon, wala nang makakapigil kay Leni Robredo. Siya ang ating susunod na pangalawang pangulo ng bansa,” said Dy.
(Because of this, we are confident and happy to announce this long-awaited piece of news: Nobody can beat Leni Robredo. She is the next vice president of the country.)
Robredo, addressing supporters, said her team had deferred announcing their win since they did not want to rely on mere projections alone. The Camarines Sur representative clarified that they were not officially claiming victory themselves but made the announcement to ease the fears and concerns of supporters.
“You can sleep soundly now,” a beaming Robredo said in her speech.
“Irreversible na mananalo tayo (Our win is irreversible),” she told supporters.
Robredo leads the partial, unofficial count according to the Comelec-GMA7 Mirror Server. She has 14,022,625 votes against Marcos' 13,803,372 votes with 96.13% of precincts reporting as of May 15, 3:59 pm. (READ: Mission #ProtectVPLeni: How the Robredo campaign guards a tight race)
'Take the high ground'
Both Robredo's spokesperson Georgina Hernandez and daughter Tricia Robredo introduced Robredo as the next vice president of the country.
In her speech, Robredo urged her supporters to "take the high moral ground" and not to engage "bullies" attacking them on social media so that they would not add to the "divisiveness" caused by the tight presidential race.
"Sana magtake tayo ng high ground. 'Wag na tayo makipagaway dahil panalo na tayo. (I hope we'll take the high ground. Let's not fight with them because we're the winner)," she said, amid cheers.
Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, the running mate of president-elect Rodrigo Duterte, was the first vice presidential candidate to concede victory to Robredo.
Marcos has accused Robredo and the ruling part of supposedly cheating, a claim Robredo has belied numerous times. The senator, the only son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos Sr, has also accused the LP of being behind a plan to make Robredo win and impeach president-elect Rodrigo Duterte later on.
Robredo has laughed off these claims, pointing out that between the two of them, it's Marcos who has presidential dreams. – Rappler.com