MANILA - National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon, Jr. urged opposition leader and Vice President Leni Robredo to concede defeat in this year's elections, citing the wide gap of votes between her and frontrunner Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr.
“Dapat mag-concede na lang siya (she should concede already)
and find a way to serve the nation in many ways. She must now put herself as the leader of the opposition and contribute to nation-building," he said.
So far, only presidential candidates Leody De Guzman, Senator Manny Pacquiao, and Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso have conceded defeat to Marcos, Jr., the namesake son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
Marcos is poised to win by a landslide, leading among 10 presidential bets with over 31 million votes as of 2:17 p.m. based on 98.26 percent of election returns. His lead over Vice President Leni Robredo was more than 16 million.
His running-mate Sara Duterte-Carpio, the President's daughter, led the vice-presidential race with 31.5 million votes.
Robredo early dawn on Tuesday urged supporters to stay calm and be comforted with their contributions in her campaign, thanking them for keeping the good fight.
'THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN'
Esperon urged critics of Marcos Jr. to respect the results of this year's elections, telling them to not be "condescending" and follow the will of the people.
“Hindi niyo ba nakikita, 30 million versus 14 million?... Nagsalita na ang tao. Ibinoto nila ang gusto nilang iboto. Wala ba kayong respeto sa mga bumoto kay Marcos na 30 million?” he said.
(Can't you see that is 30 million versus 14 million? The people have spoken and they voted for who they want. Don't you have any respect for those who voted for Marcos?)
“Kayo lang ba ang tunay na nag-iisip? May karapatan din kami at ibang tao na mag-isip at may isip din kami,” he added.
(Do you think you are the only people who are thinking? We also have the right to speak and think freely.)
“The decision of the majority must be followed and allowed to prevail.”
The security adviser also urged voters to prove allegations of rampant cheating, saying the number of vote-counting machines (VCM) that broke down on election day was "not even 1 percent."
“Sinasabi nilang ‘nadaya kami’ eh saan ang pruweba na nadaya? 940 VCMS ang nag-malfunction initially," he said.
(They claimed there was cheating but where's the proof? 940 VCMs malfunctioned initially.)
The total, however, was around 1,800 on election day, according to the Commission of Elections. Despite this though, a poll body commissioner said the results were truthful and "cannot be doubted."