MANILA, Philippines - President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has pulled away from her closest rival in the race for the congressional seat of Pampanga's 2nd district, based on the Commission on Elections (Comelec) partial count Tuesday morning.
As of 8:30 a.m., the provincial Comelec office's partial count showed Arroyo heading for a landslide win with 105,556 votes. Her lone rival, Adonis Simpao of the Liberal Party had 13,214 votes.
The local Comelec office said the votes counted came from Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) machines in 4 of the 6 municipalities in the 2nd district.
In the gubernatorial race, Mrs. Arroyo's ally, Lilia Pineda also had a wide margin over incumbent Governor Eddie Panlilio.
Pineda had 217,155 over Panlilio's 96,556.
Mrs. Arroyo is making history as the first outgoing Philippine president to take a seat in the House of Representatives.
There were speculations that Mrs. Arroyo intends to seek the House speakership and use the position to push for Charter change to pave they way for a shift from presidential to a parliamentary form of government.
Her critics claim that Mrs. Arroyo will use her political clout to become the country’s first prime minister under a parliamentary form of government. -- Report from Gracie Rutao, ABS-CBN Pampanga