By Jimbo Gulle
Former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has a virtually unbeatable lead over Vice President Leni Robredo in the race for the presidency with over 25 million votes in the initial partial and unofficial tally released by the Commission on Elections, covering over 77 percent of precincts as of 11:30 p.m. Monday.
Marcos garnered 25,489,420 votes from 78.88% of precincts and about 44,603,401 votes cast in the automated elections, according to the Comelec.
His total is over double the votes garnered by VP Robredo, who had 12,145,860 in the unofficial returns as of 11:17 p.m. A far third for President was Sen. Manny Pacquiao with 2,564,260 votes.
In the tally for vice president, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio was likewise practically unreachable with 25,408,391 votes, over three times that of Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, who had 7,630,661. Third was Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III with 6,813,744.
Political pundits have said that with about 65.7 million voters for the 2022 national and local elections, a candidate only needs about 23 million votes — over a third of the total voting population — to secure the presidency or vice-presidency.
In the 2016 national elections, President Rodrigo Duterte won with 16.6 million votes or 39.01 percent of the total, which at the time was unprecedented for a presidential candidate.
Among senatorial candidates, actor Robin Padilla remained on top of the “Magic 12” with 21,194,896 votes, followed by former senator and Antique Rep. Loren Legarda with 19,936,449 and broadcaster Raffy Tulfo with 19,198,530.
Also in the top 12 for the Senate seats, in order from 4th to 12th, were Sen. Win Gatchalian, Sorsogon Gov. Chiz Escudero, former Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Sen. Joel Villanueva, Sen. Migz Zubiri, former Senator JV Ejercito, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, and former Senator Jinggoy Estrada.
The results were sourced from the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) transparency server, which is housed at the University of Santo Tomas (UST).