MANILA — Senate President Vicente "Tito" Sotto conceded defeat in the vice-presidential race on Tuesday after unofficial results showed his rival Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio with a huge lead.
"The people have made their choice. I accept the will of the People," Sotto said in a statement.
Duterte-Carpio has secured some 31.1 million votes, according to partial unofficial results from the Commission on Elections, with 96.82 percent of election returns counted as of 10:17 a.m.
Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan was a distant second with 9.1 million votes, followed by Sotto with some 8.1 million votes.
Duterte-Carpio's running-mate Ferdinand Marcos Jr. won Monday's election in a landslide, partial tallies also showed.
"We presented an alternative for a better system in governance and politics but the electorate had their minds conditioned elsewhere," said Sotto, running-mate of Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson.
"Our word of honor and loyalty are of far greater importance than an election win. I am glad that I did not yield to any political pressure to change my principles and kept my integrity intact till the end."
He added, "God speed to our new President and Vice President."
"But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD," Sotto said, quoting the Bible.
Sotto was the favorite in the vice-presidential race based on pre-election surveys last year when Duterte-Carpio was not yet on the list bets for the country's second highest post.
Visit the ABS-CBN News Halalan results page to see the partial unofficial tally of election returns.
For other updates, visit ABS-CBN News' live blog here.