Mar concedes, wishes Duterte success
Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News
'Hindi pa tapos ang laban ni Leni'
MANILA (UPDATE) – An emotional but calm Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Mar Roxas conceded on Tuesday in the presidential race and wished presumptive winner Rodrigo Duterte success.
"We fought the good fight," he told supporters in his campaign headquarters in Quezon City.
"Digong [Duterte's nickname], I wish you success. Ang iyong tagumpay ay tagumpay ng ating sambayanan at ng ating bansa," Roxas said in a press conference.
Roxas's concession marks an end to President Benigno Aquino III's desire for ''continuity'' of his "Daang Matuwid" program under his anointed one.
But Roxas believes his defeat is "not a time for tears."
''For our country, we've had a peaceful, successful transfer of power. It is not about me. It is not about anyone. It is about how we love our country, and how we all do all that we can for her. She's the only one."
As of 12:29 p.m. today, Duterte had 15,321,784 votes, while Roxas had 9,233,431.
Senator Grace Poe, who was first to concede, had 8,576,986 votes.
The count was based on 76.91% of registered voters and 91% of clustered precincts.
'LENI'S FIGHT NOT OVER'
Not all is lost for the ruling party, however, as LP vice-presidential bet Leni Robredo led the race with 13,405,338. Her closest rival, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., had 13,219,566 votes.
''Hindi pa tapos ang laban ni Leni. Angat siya, lumalaban siya. Patuloy tayong magbantay, manalig at sumuporta. Siguraduhin natin na mabibilang ng tama ang kanyang boto,'' Roxas said.
''Habang ginagawa natin ito para kay Leni, simulan na natin ang pagbuo sa minamahal nating bansa. Galangin at tanggapin natin ang pasya ng ating mga kababayan."
Four LP senatorial bets--Frank Drilon, Kiko Pangilinan, Ralph Recto, Leila de Lima--are also poised to win seats. Three other winning candidates--Joel Villanueva, Ping Lacson, Risa Hontiveros-- are LP allies.
Roxas also thanked his supporters for staying with him until the end.
''Maramig sa inyo stuck your necks out sa laban na ito. Pero sa kabila ng lahat, hindi kayo bumitaw,'' he said.
''Nanindigan kayo, sinamahan niyo ako hanggang sa dulo. For that I'm very grateful."
Roxas' candidacy had been filled with challenges, having to answer for and defend the shortcomings of the Aquino administration.
Critics had also pointed to his performance as transportation secretary and his work in the Yolanda relief and rehabilitation efforts as some of his weak points.
Roxas, born to a rich family, also struggled to connect with the ordinary Filipinos, something the Davao City mayor had no trouble doing.
At the campaign homestretch, Roxas shifted his message and called on Filipinos to fight for a ''decent'' government, in an apparent swipe at Duterte's heavy-handed approach to leadership and incendiary statements.
In his speech, Roxas emphasized that more than being a candidate or a supporter, ''we are all Filipinos."
''Higit pa sa pagiging supporter o kapartido ng kahit sinong kandidato, Pilipino tayo – maka-Diyos, may pakikitungo at malasakit sa kapwa at naniniwalang lahat ng mahalaga sa buhay ay pinaghihriapan,'' he said.
''Patuloy nating ipaglaban ang mga prinsipyong ito. Ibigay natin ang lahat ng ating makakaya para makamit natin ang ating kolektibong mithiin. Ipakita natin sa bawat salita, bawat gawa, at bawat kilos, ang tunay na diwa ng pagiging Pilipino."