Duterte, Marcos top local absentee voting

Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos topped the results of local absentee voting, a Commission on Elections official revealed.

According to the official election return published by Commissioner Rowena Guanzon Wednesday morning, Duterte was able to gather 10,283 votes; Jejomar Binay 4,375; Grace Poe 1,628; Mar Roxas 1,419; Miriam Defensor Santiago 1,253 and Roy SeƱeres 2 votes.

In the tightly contested vice-presidential race, Marcos was able to garner 11,628 votes versus the 2,341 votes of his closest rival Congresswoman Leni Robredo.

Almost 19,000 Local Absentee Voters who were tasked to be on duty on election day were able to cast their ballots from over 23,000 approved LAV applications.

These include members of the media, Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology and other government agencies.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista denied Wednesday that votes are being rigged in favor of Liberal Party vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo.

This is after the camp of Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. asked Comelec and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) to halt the unofficial quick count amid claims of "dagdag-bawas" or vote padding-shaving.

PANOORIN: Kampo ni Marcos, iginiit na sila ang lamang sa bilangan

Bautista said there is no anomaly in the transmission of election results, adding that Marcos may have gained an early lead because the latter's supposed bailiwicks in Luzon were the first to transmit partial vote counts.

"Iyung pag-transmit nito ay kumbaga, 'first come, first tallied.' Makikita ninyo ang order ng pag-transmit ng mga resulta. Ang una pong pumasok na mga resulta ay galing sa NCR (National Capital Region), Region IV-A at Region 3 -- kumbaga, iyung malalapit na lugar. Tapos pumasok din po ang Luzon," he told radio dzMM.

"Baka doon nga po malakas ang isang kandidato kung kaya't malakas siya noong simula."

ABS-CBN pre-election surveys done by Pulse Asia earlier identified Metro Manila and Luzon as the bailiwicks of Marcos while Visayas is the stronghold of Robredo.

Pulse Asia president Ronnie Holmes earlier explained that Marcos and Robredo remain neck and neck in the vice-presidential race because of the almost equal share of voters in their regional strongholds.

He said Robredo's numbers started peaking in December in Western Visayas, which has the same number of voters as Ilocos, Marcos' bailiwick.

He said Robredo tallied a high survey rating in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao because of Marcos' stand against the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law.

But Holmes said the vice-presidential derby is still anybody's game as more than 500,000 votes have yet to be transmitted.