Dubai: Former senator Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. is leading by a wide margin in the month-long Philippine overseas voting (OV) held at the Philippine missions in the UAE from April 10 to May 9.
Based on partial and unofficial results tallied by poll watchers at the Philippine Consulate General (PCG) in Dubai on midday Tuesday, Marcos – who last served as senator in 2016 – has garnered 46,382 votes, as compared to his closest rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, who received 9,924 votes.
The numbers are still partial and unofficial but already indicative of who could win in the Philippine overseas elections conducted in the UAE, and reflective of the result of the national election in the Philippines.
According to the PCG, 60,393 out of 191,779 - or 31.49 per cent - of registered overseas voters cast their ballots at the Philippine Consulate and Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) in Dubai.
No figures are available yet from the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi, where canvassing of votes is happening. The final and official result of the OV in the UAE will be transmitted electronically by the Philippine Embassy to Manila.
Duterte also leads
In the vice presidential race, Sara Duterte – daughter of Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte – is also maintaining a commanding lead over Senator Kiko Pangilinan, running mate of Robredo. Sara has 48,225 votes while Pangilinan got 7,714 votes.
The top 12 senatorial candidates in Dubai and Northern Emirates are: Robin Padilla (41,864 votes); Loren Legarda (38,185); Mark Villar (33,986); Harry Roque (29,714); Larry Gadon (29,560); Gilbert Teodoro (29,178); Chiz Escudero (27,469); Migz Zubiri (26,145); Raffy Tulfo (25,223); Herbert Bautista (25,223); Sal Panelo (24,443) and Alan Peter Cayetano (22,506).
Results in the party-list election are not yet available. Back in 2010, 12 per cent or 3,693 out of 30,679 registered voters in Dubai cast their vote. The number of voters grew tenfold in 2016, where 37,950 or 31 per cent of the 122,953 registered Filipinos went to the polls in Dubai.
Philippine Consul General Renato Dueñas Jr. earlier praised the high turnout of voters in Dubai. He said: “We thank our kababayans [countrymen] who have worked with us and came here to vote. We are very happy with the hight turnout and huge interest of Filipinos in this electoral process.”
Warpeace Arnold, head of Lakas-CMD (a Philippine political party that supports Marcos Jr.) in Dubai, told Gulf News: “I think BBM [initials of Marcos Jr., son and namesake of ousted Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos, Sr.] won because he got the support from all sectors of Filipino society. I voted for him because he is the only candidate that can continue the policies of President Rodrigo Duterte.”
Meanwhile, supporters of Robredo – known as the Pink army – said the fight for an honest government does not end in the election. Amor Latumbo, 33, who works in real estate, said: “We will remain vigilant and continue the fight for those on the fringes of society. We want to turn the election into a movement for good governance and accountability.”
She added: “We should learn the lessons from our history and not muddle it. As what some political pundits said – this election was not just about charting a better future for the Philippines but also having a correct version of the past.”
PR professional and Filipino community leader Art Los Banos added: “The next government should run the country in the next six years by enforcing strict anti-graft and corruption laws and regulations.”
Partial and unofficial results as of May 10 (12pm), courtesy of Lakas-CMD poll watchers:
Bongbong Marcos 46,382
Leni Robredo 9,924
Sara Duterte 48,225
Kiko Pangilinan 7,714
Top 12 senatorial candidates
Robin Padilla 41,864
Loren Legarda - 38,185
Mark Villar - 33,986
Harry Roque - 29,714
Larry Gadon - 29,560
Gilbert Teodoro - 29,178
Chiz Escudero - 27,469
Migz Zubiri - 26,145
Raffy Tulfo - 25,223
Herbert Bautista - 25,223
Sal Panelo - 24,443
Alan Peter Cayetano - 22,506
60,393 out of 191,779 (31.49%) registered overseas voters cast their ballots at PCG and POLO Dubai