MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Vicente Sotto III, the consistent second placer in election surveys, conceded the vice presidential race to frontrunner Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte on Tuesday, May 10.
“The people have made their choice. I accept the will of the People,” Sotto said in a press statement.
“We presented an alternative for a better system in governance and politics but the electorate had their minds conditioned elsewhere,” he said. “Our word of honor and loyalty are of far greater importance than an election win. I am glad that I did not yield to any political pressure to change my principles and kept my integrity intact till the end.”
He closed his statement by calling the frontrunners “our new President and Vice President,” and quoted Joshua 24:15: “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Sotto’s concession came after seeing that Sara Duterte’s lead – 31,084,305 million votes in the partial, unofficial tally from the Commission on Elections’ transparency server as of 10:31 am Tuesday – was already insurmountable. He is coming in third (8,113,915) behind Duterte and second placer Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan (9,120,085).
Sotto lost to Duterte after initially placing first in surveys in September 2021, even with a double-digit lead. But after a dramatic filing of her certificate of candidacy, and an alliance with presidential frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, Duterte soared past Sotto by December 2021, also with a double-digit lead.
Before Sara Duterte, Sotto’s chances for the vice presidency looked promising.
He was among the government officials with the highest approval ratings. He was the chairman of the powerful Nationalist People’s Coalition. He was even praised by President Rodrigo Duterte in his final State of the Nation Address as “a good vice president.”
But the approval ratings did not translate into votes, the NPC was a big party whose members declared support for different candidates, and Duterte’s praise did not turn into an endorsement.
Sotto is currently serving his 2nd consecutive term as a senator, after winning in the 2010 and the 2016 elections. He is set to bow out after the polls after completing his 6-year term. He served for two more consecutive terms earlier from 1992 to 2004. – Rappler.com