Follow our Philippine general elections update here. Gulf News' Janice Ponce De Leon and Irish Eden Belleza report from the Philippine Consulate-General in Dubai. 


Unofficial presidential vote tally: Duterte takes big lead

Manila: The Philippines' tough-talking city mayor Rodrigo Duterte had a commanding lead with 40 per cent of votes in Monday's presidential election, according to an unofficial tally of ballots counted from half the electorate. Profiles: Duterte and other key candidates

Figures from the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, which is accredited by the election commission, showed Duterte with more than 9 million votes at the halfway stage of counting, or 39 per cent of the total.

His nearest rival Grace Poe had 22.2 per cent of the vote.  Philippine media outlets also carried similiar results.

Duterte gave a cautious assessment when asked on CNN Philippines about the early results. 

"I ain't there until I am there," he said. "If it is my destiny to be there then I accept it."

Duterte leads in partial vote tally in Dubai 

Dubai: Partial results of the vote count at the Philippine Consulate-General on Monday showed presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte taking the lead with 481 votes. Manuel "Mar" Roxas came in second place with 46 votes, while Miriam Defensor-Santiago came in third with 35 votes. Grace Poe and Jejomar Binay trailed with 13 and 5 votes respectively.

In the vice presidential race, Bongbong Marcos led with 275 votes, followed by Alan Peter Cayetano with 193 votes. Leni Robredo came in third place with 96 votes, while Escudero received 19 votes. Gregorio Honasan got one vote while Antonio Trillanes failed to get any vote.

In Dubai and the northern emirates, a total of 37,972 Filipinos participated in Overseas Voting, accounting for 31 per cent of the more than 122,000 Filipinos registered to vote.

Voting closed, counting begins at consulate in Dubai

Dubai: After the last voter cast his ballot at the Philippine Consulate-General in Dubai at 2pm on Monday, consulate officials closed the voting process to begin the ballot count.

Gates closed at Philippine Consulate-General

Dubai: Gates to the Philippine Consulate-General were closed at 2pm on Monday at the end of an extended voting period that saw hundreds of last-minute voters flocking to the consulate in Dubai.

Voters who were able to enter the consulate premises before the 2pm deadline were still allowed to vote. Among them was Jerry Mariano, a company driver, who was the last to cast his vote and received cheers from the consulate staff.


Duterte last presidential candidate to vote

Manila: Presidential hopeful and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte was the last among the five presidential candidates to vote on Monday.

Duterte arrived at the polling station in Davao's Daniel R. Aguinaldo National High School at 3pm, a few hours before polls were scheduled to close.

Comelec extends voting period

Manila: The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has extended the voting hours to 6pm instead of 5pm at polling stations in the Philippines that opened late on Monday due to problems with the automated ballot machines.

In Dubai, the Philippine Consulate-General extended the voting hours to 2pm. Those who made it to the queue 30 metres from the polling precinct will be accommodated to vote.

Last-minute voters crowd consulate in Dubai

Dubai: With less than an hour left in the month-long Overseas Voting, scores of Filipinos trooped to the Philippine Consulate-General in Dubai to cast their votes on Monday. Voting is done by batches to accommodate the volume of people. Consulate staff added more tables to accommodate last-minute voters.

10 dead in Philippine election day violence

Manila: At least 10 people died across the Philippines in election day violence on Monday, as gunmen attacked polling stations, ambushed vehicles and stole vote counting machines, police said.

In the worst attack, seven people were shot dead in an ambush before dawn in Rosario, a town just outside of Manila known for political violence. Fulll story

Filipino expats in UAE find time to vote

Dubai: Louie Ramirez, a store manager, travelled all the way from Ras Al Khaimah to vote.

“I came here to vote and I noticed that the process was easy and convenient. All the candidates I voted for appeared in my voting receipt,” Ramirez told Gulf News.

Ramirez said he purposely to came on the last day because it coincided with his day off. He hopes his compatriots would participate in the polls. “I encourage our compatriots to exercise their right to vote,” he said.

Dyna Hernaez Cubon, a nurse, went straight to the consulate after her shift at 8am. “It took me around 10 minutes to complete the voting process. I came here on the last day of voting because I was busy at work,” Cubon said.

A concert and prayer vigil was held at the consulate on Sunday night as part of the call for clean and peaceful elections. The consulate and embassy extended the voting time to 29 hours from Sunday to Monday to accommodate last-minute voters. 

“The concert was attended by almost a thousand people and from last night till about 1am to 2am there were hundreds and hundreds who came to the consulate to vote,” Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes told Gulf News.

“And from 1am to about 6am, there were about trickles of people coming in, maybe about a hundred of them. The crowds started swelling again at 7am to 8am. There are about a hundred of people in the cabin hoping that they would be able to participate in this year’s 2016 elections,” Cortes said.

The polls in the UAE will close at 1pm on May 9 to synchronise with the closing of elections in the Philippines. 

“We do hope that we get to enfranchise as many people as we could and accommodate them in the next couple of hours especially as we close the 2016 elections for good,” Cortes said.

Lengthy lines at Philippine poll stations

Manila: Television reports showed lengthy lines, mostly outside schoolhouses that are serving as voting centres across the Philippines.

There were no immediate reports of disruption of voting as people who had been queueing up since dawn finally got a chance to cast their ballots.

Consul-General renews call to vote

Dubai: With a few hours to go before polls close in Dubai, Philippine Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes renewed his call for Filipinos to cast their ballots on Monday. The consulate is open until 1pm to accommodate all last-minute voters.

Voters crowd Philippine Consulate-General in Dubai

Dubai: Philippine Consul-General Cortes said that hundreds of people came to vote at the consulate in Dubai on Monday.

Cortes said there were voters until 1am, and that more started coming in the morning. At 10.45am, many Filipinos were still seen waiting for their turn at the polling stations, which will close at 1pm.  

Candidates cast votes in Philippines

Manila: Four of five presidential candidates - former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senators Grace Poe and Miriam Defensor Santiago - cast their vote early on Monday, lining up with common folk and shaking hands of well-wishers.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, who has led in pre-poll surveys and led a huge final rally in Manila that police estimated drew a crowd of 300,000, was expected to vote in his southern port city of Davao on Monday afternoon. 

The candidates have promised to address key issues that weigh on the minds of many of the nearly 55 million voters in the country. Find out what the key issues are

Firebrand Duterte favourite 

Manila: The Philippines on Monday launched elections to elect a new president with anti-establishment firebrand Rodrigo Duterte the shock favourite after an incendiary campaign full of profanity-laced threats to kill criminals.

Duterte, the longtime mayor of the southern city of Davao, has hypnotised millions with his vows of brutal but quick solutions to the nation’s twin plagues of crime and poverty, which many believe have worsened despite strong economic growth in recent years.

Duterte went into polling day with an 11-percentage-point lead over his rivals, according to the latest survey. Full story or get to know the other candidates

Police probe deadly attack in Cavite

Gunmen have shot to death seven men and wounded another in Rosario town in Cavite province near Manila a few hours before voting centers opened in the Philippine presidential election.

Police are investigating if the pre-dawn attack Monday is related to the elections.

Police say the victims, mostly Muslim street vendors, were forced to alight from their van on a main road by the gunmen, who then opened fire with assault rifles. Another companion of the victims was wounded and brought to a hospital.

Philippine Consul-General in Dubai calls for unity

Dubai: Philippine Consul-General Cortes in Dubai has called for unity after what he described as intensified war of words among staunch supporters on social media networks. 

In a speech at Sunday night's "vigil concert" at the consulate, Cortes told Filipinos that the elections have been marred by social media wars among supporters, causing divisions in Philippine communities overseas and in the country.

"All of us are entitled to speak our own opinion... [but] we don't have the right to bash people simply because they are supporting other candidates," he said.

Voting underway at Philippine Consulate General-Dubai

Dubai: The Philippine embassy and consulate in the UAE are going full blast in their campaign to encourage Filipinos to vote for their country’s next leaders, with polling stations staying open until 1pm on Monday. The consulate had been open since 8am on Sunday to accommodate last-minute voters.

Officials urged voters to cast their ballots before the deadline, with Philippine Consul-General Cortes calling on the Filipino community to pray together for a clean and peaceful elections.

Voting begins

Manila: Voting began on Monday across the Philippines to elect a new president.

Polls opened at 7am and will continue until 5pm, election officials said. 

Election commission officials said results could be out as early as Monday night, or it could also take day.

Five candidates are vying for the presidency to succeed Benigno Aquino III, whose six-year term ends on June 30.

Besides electing a new president, the over 54 million eligible voters will also be choosing candidates for vice president, Senate and Congress lawmakers and around 18,000 local officials.

Overseas voting results will be generated ‘quicker’ this time

Results of the Overseas Voting in the Philippine missions on Monday will be known “quicker” than the normal canvassing time in the past that took days and weeks.

The automated election in the missions here makes it easier to know the results in a matter of hours or even days compared to the manual counting in the past that took a long time to come up with the final count.

Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Constancio Vigno Jr said the month-long presidential polls will close exactly at 1pm on Monday at the embassy and consulate. Those who make it to the queue within 30 metres from embassy and consulate gate by 1pm will be accommodated to vote. Full story

Philippine election violence picks up 

Manila: Violent incidents related to Monday’s vote have increased in frequency, police said, adding they expect the number of such acts to rise during and after the vote.

Philippine National Police Spokesperson Wilben Mayor said the number of election-related violence from January 10 to May 8 has risen to 146, with 15 confirmed fatalities and nine injured. Full story

Key issues defining Philippines vote 

Dubai: The hotly-contested May 9 general elections hinge on several issues, though curbing crime and corruption had become the defining themes of the three-month campaign.

These are lingering concerns that will be key to the Monday vote and help set the country's direction over the next six year. Full story

With input from agencies