Duterte, Robredo win northeast overseas votes

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

NEW YORK - Big wins for presidential bet Rodrigo Duterte and vice presidential hopeful Leni Robredo have been recorded in the Northeast Coast. 

After 12 hours of generating election returns from 27 polling precinct vote counting machines, partial and unofficial results show Duterte is leading with 4,971 votes.

Administration candidate Mar Roxas placed second with 3,125 votes; Grace Poe with 991 votes; Miriam Defensor-Santiago, 764 votes; and Jejomar Binay, 221 Votes. 

Duterte’s local supporters kept a close eye on Philippine election proceedings, including Margaret Banzon-Torejos whose birthday video for Duterte went viral on social media.

"Sobrang abot langit ang saya ko," she said.

In the vice presidential race, Robredo picked up the most votes from Northeast Coast Filipinos with 4,417 votes.

She is followed by Alan Peter Cayetano with 2,594 and Bongbong Marcos with 2,205 votes, Chiz Escudero, 634 votes, Antonio Trillanes, 115, and Gringo Honasan, 78.

Duterte supporters have meanwhile lauded presidential candidates who have already conceded.

"Dapat talaga ganun eh, Nagkaroon ng political maturity sa ating bansa, at natutuwa ako na si Grace Poe ay unang-una siyang nag-concede,” Duterte supporter Ernesto Pamolarco said. 

Duterte poll watcher, Florian 'Pong' Alerta said while the conduct of the OAV elections in the Northeast Coast was generally peaceful and smooth, OAV ballots should have been sent out much earlier to give voters more time to fill out and send the ballots back.

“I think that’s the best thing to do, the earlier the better and then also the staff,” Alerta said, “I could not blame them, understaffed talaga sila, and they have work to be done.” 

The last batch of more than 26,000 OAV ballots was not sent out until April 25, less than 2 weeks before election day.

“Medyo nagahol din kami sa oras, dahil malalaki ang registration numbers namin, just to put them in packets and mailing them took some time,” Consul General Mario Del Leon said.

“First time natin ginawa ang automated elections system, at the same time. This is the first time the foreign service posts are the ones who mailed it [ballots], may learning curve, lessons learned,” he added/ 

Election returns together with their corresponding SD cards were personally delivered to the Special Board of Canvassers in Washington, DC.

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