Bam Aquino amid canvassing of votes: Pray for me, pray for country

MANILA, Philippines – Opposition reelectionist Senator Paolo Benigno "Bam" Aquino IV on Friday, May 17, took to Facebook to address his supporters amid the canvassing of votes that shows him just outside the winning circle.

“I wanted to make my first public statement after the counting finished, but since so many friends are asking how I am, I just want to tell everyone out there that I'm OK,” Aquino said in a post on his Facebook page with a photo of him with wife Timi.

Aquino is in 14th place with 14,054,642 voters with 97.88% of the total votes counted in the partial unofficial count of the Commission on Elections.

In the partial official count, which is tallied through the certificates of canvass (COCs), accounting for 74.97% of total votes, Aquino is at 12th spot with 11,001,047 votes. This was as of Thursday, May 16, with 129 out of 167 COCs tallied.

When the canvassing is done, the official count should match the unofficial.

“Please continue praying for me; better yet, please continue praying for and loving our country,” Aquino said.

Reelectionist Senator Nancy Binay is in 12th place, based on the unofficial results, while another reelectionist senator, JV Ejercito, is at 13th place.

Binay already claimed victory on Thursday, May 16, citing her comfortable lead over 13th placer Ejercito.

No one from Otso Diretso and other opposition groups managed to get into the winning circle, the first time since 1938 that not a single opposition candidate won a seat in the Senate.

Of the 8 Otso Diretso candidates, Aquino and Mar Roxas have not conceded. Roxas is in 16th place in both the official and unofficial counts.

Gary Alejano, Chel Diokno, Samira Gutoc, Florin Hilbay, Romulo Macalintal, and Erin Tañada have conceded defeat in the Senate race.

Aquino had a private meeting with supporters and his campaign team  this week.

“Hindi mauubos ang pagmamahal ko sa ating mga kababayan maganda man o hindi ang resulta ng eleksyon (I will continue to love my fellow Filipinos whatever the result of the election). Love, love, love and gratitude to all those sending their messages of support!” Aquino said.

In the comments section, Vice President Leni Robredo posted 3 yellow hearts. Aquino served as Robredo's campaign manager in the 2016 vice presidential elections.

Aquino first won as a senator in 2013, on his first try. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.

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