Just as Leni Robredo predicted her victory, the last man standing in the race for the second highest position of the land is a woman.
Robredo, Camarines Sur Representative, won the tightly contested vice presidential race with 14,418,817 votes – 263,473 votes more than Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s 14,155,344.
With the stirring win, the congresswoman completed her rags-to-riches story of starting at 1 percent in the surveys before slowly but steadily rising to the vice presidency despite running against more seasoned politicians such as Marcos, Sen. Alan Cayetano, Sen. Francis Escudero, Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th and Sen. Gregorio Honasan.
Robredo first wrested the lead from Marcos, Jr. at about 3:47 p.m. on Day 3, Friday, of the canvassing of votes in Congress after booming wins in the Visayan and Mindanao provinces – a lead that she never relinquished since then.
And she could not have gained victory at a better time – on the day of what could have been the 58th birthday of her late husband, former Interior and Local Government Secretary and Ramon Magsaysay awardee Jesse Robredo.
She overwhelmed Marcos in Antique (119,055), Iloilo City (137,662), Zamboanga del Norte (209,491), Northern Samar (111,461), Maguindanao (220,125) and Lanao del Sur (180,539).
Robredo beat Marcos by 74,000 votes in Antique and crushed Marcos in Iloilo City and Zamboanga del Norte by 100,000 and 120,000 votes, respectively.
Her emphatic wins in Maguindanao and Lanao del Sur saw her obliterating Marcos there by 139,534 and 124,296 votes, respectively.
The lone woman in the vice presidential race also frustrated Marcos in Northern Samar with a lead of 38,247 votes.
Robredo also had a good day among overseas voters during the third day of canvassing.
She won in the Vatican (135), Myanmar (89), Switzerland (939), Australia (1,280), Papua New Guinea (362), The Netherlands (220), India (22) and Indonesia (630).
“Gusto ko magpasalamat sa lahat ng naniwala sa atin kahit noong umpisa, nag-umpisa ako sa wala (I would like to thank everyone who believed in me even if I had nothing going for me at the start), Robredo, a former lawyer for the poor, said in a radio interview.
Marcos, on the other hand, came so close to victory because of a solid win in Leyte–the hometown of his mother, Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos–and Sulu, as well as his continued dominance in absentee voting.
He beat Robredo by 164,855 votes in Leyte and by 81,219 votes in Sulu.
Marcos also clobbered her in the local absentee voting, 11,683 to 2,341.
The overseas voters were all for Marcos in at least 35 countries that included: Kuwait, (4,777), Poland (57) Cambodia (420), Thailand (1,284), Iran (47), Oman (1,477), Hungary (116), East Timor (177), Brazil (91), New Zealand (768), Mexico (118), Belgium (356), Chile (147), Norway (515), Pakistan (116), Argentina (18), France/Monaco (661), South Africa (131), Bangladesh (134), Nigeria (131), Germany (540), Czech Republic (90), Portugal (237), Brunei Darussalam (1,904), Jordan (903), Israel (3,350), Egypt (391), Greece (1,346), Turkey (299), combined Certificates of Canvass from Vietnam, Maldives and Sri Lanka (132), Laos (285), Kenya (176), Russia (566), Canada (8,622) and Austria (272).
The senator also won the detainees’ votes, 607 to Robredo’s 393.