LIBERAL Party vice-presidential bet Leni Robredo is ready to fight for her apparent victory against closest rival, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.
In a news conference inside her campaign headquarters in Eastwood, Quezon City, Robredo did not claim victory but underscored that she had a significant 192,000 lead over Marcos in the vice-presidential race as of 3 p.m., Tuesday.
Marcos—son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos—has asked the Commission on Elections to stop the partial and unofficial counting of ballots being done by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) that showed him trailing Robredo.
“Did they say how the poll fraud is happening? Why don’t they wait for the official count from the Comelec instead? When I was trailing badly and my children were getting depressed and my supporters would not eat, we never said they were ahead because they were rigging the polls,” Robredo said in Filipino.
Robredo cited that she trailed Marcos by as much as 935,000 votes and played catch up the rest of way until 3 a.m. when she finally raced ahead since the first set of votes to come in were from Regions 1 to 4-A—known bailiwicks of Marcos.
Robredo, however, eventually gained ground when the votes from Regions 5, 6, 7 and 8 started coming in.
“Based on the results coming in, we are going to win. And so it is unfair to accuse somebody of something that you can’t substantiate. Talk is cheap,” Robredo said.
Robredo, however, underscored that she will be ready to defend her victory before the Presidential Electoral Tribunal should Marcos protest her triumph.
“I am ready for that. When I decided to join this race, I am ready for any eventuality. Everything that I had, I really had to toil for it. From the moment when I had to earn my law degree [while starting a family], when my husband suddenly died, when I had to win a congressional seat [against a political dynasty],” she stressed.
“Nothing was really handed to me on a silver platter,” she added. “And it makes the victory sweeter.”
LP standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas II, who had conceded defeat to Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte, earlier said that Robredo’s fight was far from over.
“Leni’s fight is not yet over. She is ahead; she is in the thick of the fight. We should continue to be vigilant; ensure that her votes will be counted,” Roxas said in a separate news conference. LLANESCA T. PANTI