Poe accepts defeat: We did our best
Thea Alberto-Masakayan, ABS-CBN News
MANILA- Senator Grace Poe was the first presidential candidate to accept defeat, conceding late Monday, hours after partial, unofficial results showed rival Rodrigo Duterte leading the race to Malacanang.
A calm and composed Poe, flanked by son Brian and husband Neil Llamanzares, said she was at peace even in defeat.
"Lumaban kami ng malinis at patas. Matutulog kami ngayong gabi na may malinis na konsensiya, na panatag sa kaalaman na ako, kasama ang aking pangkat, at ang lahat ng minamahal kong taga-suporta, ginawa natin ang lahat. Ginawa natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya," said Poe in a press conference early Tuesday.
Poe also accepted the electorate's decision and greeted Duterte, who is poised to win as president.
"Iginagalang ko ang resulta ng ating halalan. Binabati ko si Mayor Rodrigo Duterte at ipinapangako ko ang aking pakikiisa sa paghilom ng ating bayan at pakiisa ng ating kababayan tungo sa patuloy na pag-unlad ng ating bansa," said Poe.
"Hindi naging mahirap sa akin ang ating pagbibigay daan. Hindi ito pagsuko. Ito ay pagbibigay respeto sa demokrasya," she added.
Poe said she is hoping that the Philippines under a Duterte presidency will be democratic, with the legislative department still independent from the executive branch.
Poe will remain as senator until 2019, when she can seek a second term in the mid-term elections.
Poe conceding was a far cry from her morning mood on Monday, when she declared that she was confident of victory.
By Monday night, Poe was third in the five-way race.
Poe, a former presidential frontrunner, dodged several disqualification cases filed against her, and convinced the high court that she was qualified to seek the presidency.
READ: Poe camp: SC decision a 'victory for democracy
She also raised the rights of foundlings while looking for blood relatives to help prove her being a natural-born Filipino. Her husband, a former US Air Force personnel, is in the process of giving up his US citizenship.
No less than President Aquino tried hard to woo her to be the running mate of the Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas. She also got offers from the opposition, as she is a also a friend of UNA standard-bearer Vice President Jojo Binay.
Political analysts say it would have been a sure win, similar to Joseph Estrada's vice-presidential run in 1992 when he beat the administration bet, Lito Osmena, as well as the candidate of the then-biggest political party, Marcelo Fernan of the LDP.
Proof of this is the fact that Poe topped the surveys for vice president prior to the filing of the COCs last October 2015, and she was the 2nd top choice for president throughout the 90-day campaign.
Although she had the support of some members of businessman Eduardo 'Danding' Cojuangco's party, the Nationalist People's Coalition (NPC), Cojuangco himself didn't endorse her nor her running mate, Senator Chiz Escudero. Cojuangco's right-hand man in San Miguel Corp. (SMC), Ramon Ang, had publicly said that it would be not wise for him to support only one candidate, and that he lent his airplane to other bets, not just to Poe and Escudero.