SEN. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. took a narrow lead over rival Rep. Leni Robredo on Thursday, the second day of the official canvassing of votes for the vice-presidential race, owing to overwhelming victories in the so-called “Solid North” provinces and the rest of Luzon.
Based on 113 out of 165 Certificates of Canvass counted by the National Board of Canvassers as of 10 p.m., Marcos earned 13,214,810 votes, or 83,480 more than Robredo’s 13,131,330 votes.
He defeated the Camarines Sur lawmaker by over 300,000 in Ilocos Sur with 316,121 votes and also posted huge victories in his hometown of Ilocos Norte with 298,786 votes.
He also won in Bataan with 184,670 votes, Cavite (556,785), Bulacan (556,480), Ifugao (35,256), Laguna (441,154), Quirino (49,158), Marikina City (69,530), Kalinga (64,023), Mountain Province (34,286), Quezon City (412,681), Abra (112,694), Caloocan City (245,068), Nueva Ecija (541,980), Pangasinan (832,711), La Union (338,455), Makati City (149,645), Isabela (516,926), Aurora (42,600), Cagayan (383,657), Nueva Vizcaya (126,248) and Parañaque (85,786).
He was also a winner in Pampanga (434,235), even when Robredo had the support of Gov. Lilia Pineda.
Mindanao was just as solid for Marcos. He bagged the wins in Zamboanga del Sur with 145,455 votes, Davao del Norte (130,796), Davao Occidental (41,194), South Cotabato (191,461), Cagayan de Oro (73,167), Davao Oriental (45,990), Sultan Kudarat (104,592), Sarangani (66,484) and Davao City (122,620)—the hometown of presumptive President-elect and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Marcos also sustained his lead in overseas voting by winning in Japan with 5,212 votes, Saudi Arabia (19,645), London (3,358), United Arab Emirates (25,319), China (28,080) and Taiwan (7,594).
Robredo, however, kept within striking distance of Marcos due to her resounding wins in her hometown of Camarines Sur, where she garnered 664,190 votes, as well as in Capiz (253,290), Bohol (276,486) and Iloilo, where she got 573,729 votes or over 479,000 more than Marcos’ 94,411.
She also dominated Aklan and Occidental Mindoro with 148,280 and 79,411 votes, respectively, as well as bagged emphatic wins in Southern Leyte (94,972), the vote richest province of Cebu (590,777), Eastern Samar (94,061), Negros Occidental (614,440), Western Samar (32,775), Negros Oriental (255,598) and Marinduque (40,598).
Other Bicol provinces that provided a huge lift for Robredo include Masbate (169,297) and Catanduanes (72,964), as well as the Bicol region’s neighbor, Quezon (385,164), and Palawan (183,884).
The Mindanao provinces also showed love for Robredo.
She topped Agusan del Sur with 151,451 votes and also posted rousing victories in Misamis Oriental (102,911), Agusan del Norte (116,063), Surigao del Sur (88,503) and Surigao del Norte (89,688); Tawi-Tawi (42,252), Zamboanga Sibugay (101,141), Bukidnon (218,585), Basilan (77,321) and Lanao del Norte (68,974).
Compostela Valley, for its part, pitched in 86,941 votes for Robredo to beat Marcos who only had 66,187 votes.
Last but not the least, Robredo registered a narrow victory over Marcos in Zamboanga City, 73,730 to 67,522.
Robredo caught a break in absentee voting by topping the Washington, DC. voting, 18,407 to Marcos’ 14,193.
There were four canvass certificates from Iloilo City, Antique, Canada and Kuwait–where canvassing was deferred due to some discrepancies. LLANESCA T. PANTI