Filipinos in Dubai choose Duterte as next president

Filipinos in Dubai choose Duterte as next president

Dubai - Khaleej Times' Angel Tesorero gets you the latest as the UAE residents flock to the Philippine consulate in Dubai to cast their vote.



By Angel Tesorero

Published: Mon 9 May 2016, 11:54 AM

Last updated: Tue 10 May 2016, 11:33 AM

6.29 pm
Filipinos in Dubai chose Rodrigo Duterte, the tough-talking city mayor from southern Philippines, as the next Philippine president based on partial and unofficial results of the month-long Filipino overseas voting which concluded on Monday.

This followed the same trend in the Philippines which saw Duterte establishing a strong lead over his closest rivals. With nearly 60 per cent of the total votes canvassed as of writing this story, Duterte secured 10.5 million votes or 39 per cent of the total votes while incumbent Senator Grace Poe came a distant second with 5.9 million votes and the administration candidate and former Interior Minister Mar Roxas came in third with 5.8 million.

The son of the former dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Senator Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. appeared as the frontrunner in the vice-presidential race while Roxas' running mate congressman Leni Robredo came close behind.

Based on partial tabulation in Dubai, as of 6.30 pm, Duterte established a commanding lead with 10,473 votes. Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago came a distant second with 876 votes while Roxas garnered 819. Poe and vice-president Jejomar Binay came in fourth and fifth places, respectively, with 303 and 141 votes respectively.

In the vice-presidential race, Marcos received 5,691 votes, followed closely by Duterte's running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano with 4,390 votes. Robredo got 2,081 votes while Poe's running mate Senator Chiz Escudero received 294 while Senators Antonio Trillanes and Gringo Honasan got 46 and 45 votes, respectively.

According to Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes, 31 per cent or 37,972 out of 122,185 registered Filipino voters cast their votes this year -- a big leap from the 2013 midterm elections which saw only 6.35 per cent or 3,545 of the 55,842 registered voters cast their votes.

Official canvassing of votes will be held today at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The turnout of voters in Abu Dhabi was 33.3 per cent (24,137 of 72,436 registered voters).

Hours before the closing the polls on Monday, ardent supporters of presidential frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte were already confident that their candidate will be the next Philippine president.

Speaking to Khaleej Times, Duterte supporter Adam Navarra said: "Barring massive cheating, we are very confident that Duterte will win. This is our fearless forecast based on unofficial exit polls that we've been conducting."

"After casting their votes, you can see the voters doing a clinched fist salute, which is the symbol of Duterte campaign," noted Navarra. "Filipino social media are abuzz with memes showing support for him."

Photojournalist Milo Torres said "there is a massive support for Duterte based on the people's response during his campaign rallies and Filipino overseas flood their social media with support for Duterte."

Dubai resident Conrado Quizon said he's originally from Tarlac, hometown of outgoing President Benigno Aquino whose candidate is Interior Minister Mar Roxas, but he said he did not follow the endorsement of Aquino and voted for Duterte, who is the former mayor of Davao City in southern Philippines.

"We're happy that the Filipino overseas voting concluded peacefully and we are looking forward to a Duterte presidency.  We want real change to happen in our country and we believe Duterte can make this happen," Quizon told Khaleej Times.

Another Duterte supporter, May Malate, said: "Duterte is an action man. He may be seen as a foul-mouthed public official but he has brought progress to his hometown which we hope he can duplicate in the entire country."

Friends Rae Marie Fuentes and Mary Ann Presado said: "We did not mind the inconvenience of travelling for two hours from Jebel Ali to vote in Al Ghusais. We did our responsibility to vote and we chose Duterte who is an enemy of criminality."

First-time dad Alfie Gesta said he voted for Duterte because he wants his baby to see "a crime-free Philippines".

Despite being unable to vote in the election, Filipino accountant Mau Arevalo said she has done her part campaigning for her Duterte. "I am the bread winner in the family and I used this influence to convince my relatives to vote for him," said Mau who hails from Davao.

Yet another Duterte supporter, Richard Zulueta, teacher at The Philippine School in Rashidiya said: "the only thing I think Duterte will lose is if he gets cheated. But the administration should not resort to this lest they risk of massive public protests."

Posing a different view, Hermie Itallo said she did not vote for Duterte but chose incumbent Sen Grace Poe instead. "Based on my assessment of the five presidential candidates, only she (Poe) has the clear and detailed platform for the poor."

Meanwhile, Philippine consul general Paul Raymund Cortes praised the efforts of the consulate staff, volunteers, members of the board of elections inspectors and leaders of the Filipino community. Staff and volunteers have been working 13 hours daily since the start of the election on April 9 and they had a 30-hour voting marathon from May 8 to 9.
4:00 pm
Initial canvassing of votes at the Philippines Consulate in Dubai.
 
According to Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes, 31 per cent or 37,972 out of 122,185 registered Filipino voters cast their votes in the month-long voting in Dubai.
3:30 pm
Poll watcher Conrado Quizon of PDP-Laban, political party of presidential frontrunner ?Rodrigo Duterte?, verifying receipts of election results at the Philippine Consulate in ?Dubai?.
 
2:15 pm
Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes thanks the consulate staff, members of the Special Board of Election Inspectors, poll watchers, volunteers, Filipino community leaders and the UAE media for successfully holding the voting process.
 
2:00 pm
It's 2pm and the month-long overseas voting? in ?Dubai? has just concluded. Last person to vote is Jerry Mariano from Satwa.

1:55 pm
Philippine Consul Ferdinand Flores casting his vote.

1:50 pm
Voting in UAE is about to close, says Consul Ferdinand Flores.
 
1:45pm
Duterte supporters Rae Marie Fuentes and Mary Ann Presado said: "We did not mind the inconvenience of travelling for two hours from Jebel Ali to vote for Duterte."

1.17 pm
Duterte supporters in Dubai confident their candidate will win


Hours before the closing the polls, ardent supporters of presidential frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte are confident that their candidate will be the next Philippine president.

Speaking to Khaleej Times on Monday, the last day of the month-long Filipino overseas voters, at the Philippine Consulate in Dubai, Duterte supporter Adam Navarra said: "Barring massive cheating, we are very confident that Duterte will win. This is our fearless forecast based on unofficial exit polls that we've been conducting."

"After casting their votes, you can see the voters doing a clinched fist salute, which is the symbol of Duterte campaign," noted Navarra. "Filipino social media are abuzz with memes showing support for him."

Photojournalist Milo Torres said "there is a massive support for Duterte based on the people's response during his campaign rallies and Filipino overseas flood their social media with support for Duterte."

Dubai resident Conrado Quizon said he's originally from Tarlac, hometown of outgoing President Benigno Aquino whose candidate is Interior Minister Mar Roxas, but he said he did not follow the endorsement of Aquino and voted for Duterte, who is the former mayor of Davao City in southern Philippines.

"We want real change to happen in our country and we believe Duterte can make this happen," Quizon told Khaleej Times.

Another Duterte supporter, May Malate, said: "Duterte is an action man. He may be seen as a foul-mouthed public official but he has brought progress to his hometown which we hope he can duplicate in the entire country."

Friends Rae Marie Fuentes and Mary Ann Presado said: "We did not mind the inconvenience of travelling for two hours from Jebel Ali to vote in Al Ghusais. We did our responsibility to vote and we chose Duterte who is an enemy of criminality."

First-time dad Alfie Gesta said he voted for Duterte because he wants her baby to see "a crime-free Philippines".

Despite being unable to vote in the election, Filipino accountant Mau Arevalo said she has done her part campaigning for her Duterte. "I am the bread winner in the family and I used this influence to convince my relatives to vote for him," said Mau who hails from Davao.

Yet another Duterte supporter, Richard Zulueta, teacher at The Philippine School in Rashidiya said: "the only thing I think Duterte will lose is he gets cheated. But the administration should not resort to this lest they risk of massive public protests."

Posing a different view, Hermie Itallo said she did not vote for Duterte but chose incumbent Sen Grace Poe instead. "Based on my assessment of the five presidential candidates, only she (Poe) has the clear and detailed platform for the poor."

Meanwhile, voting in the Philippine Consulate in Dubai has been extended for another hour, following an en banc resolution from the Commission of Elections in Manila.  Original time of closing of polls is at 1pm but Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes said they have extended it until 2pm to coincide with the 6pm (Manila time) closing of elections precincts in the Philippines.

angel@khaleejtimes.com
11:45 am
"Please come to the Consul as soon as you can," Philippine Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes urges Filipinos to vote in ?UAE? as Philippines election gets underway. 

11:30 pm
Filipinos in the UAE exercise their voting rights at the Philippine consulate in Dubai.
 
Leading the pack of presidential candidates, based on recent surveys, is Rodrigo Duterte, mayor of Davao City in southern Philippines. The maverick mayor has earned various monikers like "Duterte Harry", a pun on the ruthless sheriff played by Clint Eastwood; "the Punisher" for his notorious record of allowing vigilantes to kill hundreds of suspected criminals; and "the Asian Trump" for his unbridled verbal tirades.
Riding on his slogan, "Change is Coming", Duterte, a last-minute candidate, has established a double-digit lead in the pre-poll survey over his two closest rivals: incumbent Sen. Grace Poe and administration bet and former Interior Minister Mar Roxas. Duterte is set to get 33 per cent of the electorate while Poe and Roxas are in a statistical tie with 22 and 20 per cent respectively.
Wary of a Duterte win, outgoing President Benigno Aquino has called on all presidential candidates, including the Philippine vice-president Jejomar Binay and Sen. Miriam Santirago to have a united front against Duterte.
But Duterte supporters are unfazed. The mayor, who is also popular among overseas Filipinos, continues to receive their support.


More news from UAE