MANILA, Philippines - Bangon Pilipinas presidential candidate Bro. Eddie Villanueva and Lakas-Kampi Christian Muslim Democrats vice-presidential bet Edu Manzano admitted defeat Tuesday in the country's first ever nationwide automated elections.
Villanueva, who is founder and leader of the Jesus is Lord Church, said the party is "submitting to the will of the Filipino people" as partial results of the Commission on Elections tally showed Liberal Party bet Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III clearly leading the presidential race.
"With our new leaders elected, Bangon Pilipinas will find ways to help in nation-building, especially in areas where we could pursue social reforms that would benefit the majority of the Filipino people. I will continue advocating for righteous governance and will pursue the ideals and principles that guide Bangon Pilipinas," he said in a statement.
Villanueva said he had already spoken with Aquino to tell the LP bet that he would be praying for his success.
He added that he will ask Aquino and various legislators to look into election laws "so that it could be perfected to further strengthen our electoral system as a democratic process. "
Villanueva is the fifth presidential candidate to concede defeat in the May 10 election. The other four are Sen. Manny Villar, former defense chief Gilbert Teodoro, Sen. Richard Gordon and Ang Kapatiran party candidate JC delos Reyes.
For his part, Manzano followed the lead of his standard-bearer, Gilbert Teodoro, in conceding defeat in the election.
"Tinatanggap at ginagalang ko po ang naging results ng halalan na ginanap kahapon. Sa panahon ng kampanya, malaking bagay para sa amin, sa pamumuno ni Gibo Teodoro, ang mainit na pagtanggap na pinamalas ng mga botante sa aming kandidatura, at lalo na sa programa at plataporma na aming sinusulong para sa ating bansa. Sa lahat ng naniwala, sumuporta, tumulong at nagbigay inspirasyon sa aming adhikain, maraming maraming salamat. Nawa'y patuloy tayong basbasan ng ating Panginoon," he said in a statement.
He added: "This experience has been an eye opener for me as it has made me realize and appreciate even more, the natural warmth and friendly character of our people and the immense beauty and richness of our land. To our newfound friends, the local officials who joined and guided us in our mission, to our supporters who gave us their precious time and talent, thank you so much."
Vice-presidential bets Loren Legarda and Perfecto Yasay Jr. have also conceded defeat in the polls.