Robredo admits defeat in Philippine presidential election

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Leni Robredo the incumbent Vice President of the Philippines, admitted defeat in one of the most important pr...

QUEZON CITY, Philippines — Leni Robredothe incumbent Vice President of the Philippines, admitted defeat in one of the most important presidential elections in the country’s history on Friday, urging her supporters to accept the results of the vote and continue to fight misinformation.

Speaking at a rally at the Ateneo de Manila University, where thousands of her supporters had gathered, Ms Robredo did not mention the apparent winner, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.son and namesake of the country’s late dictator.

Protests against Mr Marcos erupted after preliminary results Monday night showed he had won by the biggest margin in more than three decades. But the election had been marred by complaints about vote buying and broken ballot counting machines.

Ms Robredo said her team was still reviewing reports of voter fraud, but stressed that “as the situation becomes clearer, we need to start accepting that the election results did not go according to our plan” .

“We have to accept the majority decision,” she said. “I beg you to join me in this cause.”

Ms Robredo then criticized the “massive machines to spread hate and lies,without further details. “It stole the truth, as it also stole our history and our future,” she said.

Disinformation is not unique to the Philippines, but it has flourished in recent campaigns. The result of this election shows how successful the Marcos family has been, at least in part, in rebranding its legacy. He told the Filipinos to “moving on” from his sordid past and pointed out that the violent 20-year reign of Ferdinand E. Marcos was marked by dozens of infrastructure projects and strong economic growth.

“I will channel all my energy into fighting the lies,” Ms Robredo said. “And I ask you to join me in this fight.”

Many young fans in the crowd cried when they saw her take the stage. In the months leading up to the elections, hundreds of thousands of them had mounted an unprecedented popular movement, going door to door campaigning for the only woman in the race. Her supporters saw her as the antithesis of Mr. Marcos, touting her as a leader with a record that could bring about change.

Ms. Robredo’s remarks came after her running mate, Senator Francis Pangilinan, who is running for vice president, told supporters that “the fight is still far from over, especially at this point where lies and deceit are gaining ground”.

Although Ms. Robredo did not offer a formal concession, her remarks acknowledged her almost certain defeat. The official results of this week’s elections are expected by the end of the month.

On Thursday, President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping both congratulated Marcos. His victory capped a remarkable comeback for a family that was driven out of the country 36 years ago after millions of Filipinos took to the streets of Manila in peaceful protests known as the ‘people power’ revolt.

Critics of Mr. Marcos say they fear democratic standards will erode further under him.

But Ms. Robredo ended her speech on a hopeful note. She said she would create a non-governmental organization focused on helping the marginalized with “the largest network of volunteers in the history of our country”.

Ms Robredo acknowledged that while her supporters were upset by the loss, “What I have learned from difficult situations is that healing doesn’t come while you’re sulking on your own. It comes when you start focusing on others.

“Allow yourself to cry,” Ms. Robredo said. “But when you’re ready to wipe away your tears, get ready, strengthen your heart because we have work to do.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Robredo admits defeat in Philippine presidential election
Robredo admits defeat in Philippine presidential election
Newsrust - US Top News
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