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Palace calls for healing; Leni urged to concede

MALACANANG urged the Filipino people to “heal and unite as one nation and one people” following Monday’s elections.

In a statement, acting presidential spokesman Martin Andanar said the recently concluded 2022 elections were a showcase of strength and democracy is alive.

“The Filipino people have spoken and now is the time to heal and unite as one nation and one people,” Andanar said.

To pursue this healing, National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. urged opposition leader and Vice President Leni Robredo to concede defeat in the May 9 elections, citing the wide gap of votes between her and frontrunner Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

“She should concede already and find a way to serve the nation in many ways. She must now put herself as the leader of the opposition and contribute to nation-building,” Esperon said.

Esperon also urged critics of Marcos Jr. to respect the results of this year’s elections, telling them to not be “condescending” and follow the will of the people.

“Can’t you see that it is 30 million versus 14 million (who voted for Robredo)? The people have spoken, and they voted for who they want. Don’t you have any respect for those who voted for Marcos?” he added.

Robredo’s ally, Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, on Wednesday called on Filipinos to respect the election process and the outcome of the polls.

“We have to respect the process. If we don’t respect it, it will harm our country. And election is the core of democracy,” Salceda said.

The solon said he is willing to work with Marcos once the latter sits as the 17th President, even though he endorsed Robredo, his fellow Bicolano. Vito Barcelo and Rio N. Araja

Andanar also congratulated the winners of this year’s local and national polls.

“To the winners, our advanced congratulations as you embark on new responsibilities and challenges of your office,” he said.

The Palace also thanked the people for their cooperation in making this year’s elections “generally peaceful and orderly.”

“As we wait for the official and final results, we have to underscore that this year’s political exercise is a showcase of the strength of our democratic system and institutions,” Andanar said.

He added that the high turnout of voters is evidence of the growing political interest and maturity of the Filipino people.

Andanar made this remark after the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said that partial voter turnout was at 80.38 percent as of Monday night.

The highest recorded voter turnout was during the 2016 elections when 81 percent of registered voters exercised their right to vote.

For local absentee voting, turnout was at 88 percent to date, the highest since 2010.

On the other hand, the Comelec recorded at least 34 percent of overseas absentee voting.

The poll body earlier said more than 65.7 million Filipinos registered to vote in the May 2022 national and local elections, aside from the 1.697 million Filipinos overseas. Over 18,000 elective positions were contested in this year’s polls, the Comelec said.

 

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