The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Similar to their kababayans (countrymen) in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, Filipinos in Abu Dhabi and the Western Region voted for the senatorial candidates identified with President Rodrigo Duterte, according to partial and unofficial results from the Philippine Embassy (AUHPE) in relation to the 31-day overseas voting for the May 13 Manila midterm elections.
AUHPE released to Gulf Today records from the continuing counting of election results showing that as of early Tuesday morning, seven of the top 12 were administration candidates.
On Tuesday, Philippine Ambassador to the UAE Hjayceelyn Quintana said: “It was a smooth, peaceful, clean and orderly voting in all precincts both in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Over-all, we can declare the elections a success.”
She commended all the deputized Filipino diplomatic mission staff who dispensed “their solemn duty” and oversaw the conduct of elections as well as all the volunteers “for their selfless service.”
“Considering that there were about 300,000 registered voters in the UAE, a lot of preparations were involved. They are, therefore the other heroes who made sure that the (automated voting counting) machines were used properly and all the rules were complied with.”
For her countrymen who went out of their way to cast their votes, she said: “Voting is a high act of patriotism that every Filipino can perform as a Filipino citizen. I am proud of all those who did not let the simple inconveniences get in the way in exercising that right so that every Filipino, wherever they may be, could participate in nation-building.”
She encouraged them to give their full support to whoever would be officially declared the winners by Manila’s election body, the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
“We should now unite behind those who have been elected and extend our full support to them so that together, we can build a bright future for our nation.”
The Top 12
The first, second, fourth, fifth, sixth, 10th and 11th placers were administration candidates Bato dela Rosa (12,510), Bong Go (11,901), Imee Marcos (11,348), Pia Cayetano (10,829), Cynthia Villar (9,654), Juan Edgardo Angara (6,764), and Aquilino Pimentel III (5,944) respectively.
At seventh place was politician/former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman/Duterte political adviser Francis Tolentino (8,754) who carried the banner of the PDP-Laban party.
Ranked third was famous health and wellness social media personality Doc Willie Ong (11,458) while the eighth, ninth and 12th placers were independent candidates Glenn Chong (7,277), Larry Gadon (6,830), and Grace Poe (5,401), also a re-electionist.
The Top 5 Party-lists based on the partial and unofficial counts were ACT-CIS (4,031), AA-Kasosyo Party (1,577), OFW Family (902), Duterte Youth (898), and SBP (713).
Of the 109,130 registered Filipino voters from the Comelec Certified List of Voters in Abu Dhabi and the Western Region, 15,806 cast their votes.
“This reflects 14.48 per cent of the total number of registered voters. The figure reflects a 373.66 per cent increase of voters compared to the 2013 midterm elections figures for Abu Dhabi where only 3,337 voted,” said Quintana.
As of press time, AUHPE still awaits the personal delivery of the certificates of canvas (CoC) from the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai (PCGDXB) for the final consolidation of the canvassing of the certificates.
The canvassing of the certificates is done by the Board of Canvassers (BoC) appointed by the Comelec at the AUHPE. There is no canvassing in Dubai. The BoC in AUHPE will receive the election returns from the PCGDXB.
Quintana will personally deliver the consolidated CoCs to the Comelec headquarters in Manila “under the guidance of the Department of Foreign Affair-Overseas Voting Secretariat.
This is based on the partial and unofficial results from the reading of the first round of election returns from 4,952 voters which lasted from 4:15 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. on Monday.
Mock elections, in which Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates and accredited media took part, in relation to the month-long overseas absentee voting (OAV) electoral process for the one-day Manila’s Mid-Term (General and Local) Elections on May 13, Monday, were held at the Rizal Hall of the Philippine Consulate General in Al Qusais, Dubai (PCGDXB) on Saturday morning.
Qualified voters for the April 13 to May 13 Philippine mid-term (legislative/general) elections from the UAE are at 318,862 of the total 1,789,823 overseas Filipinos absentee voters (OFAVs) registered with Manila’s Commission on Elections (Comelec).
A total of $3,100,000.00 Filipino taxpayers’ money equivalent to Dhs11,387,230.00 or Php158,541,480.87 were used by the Philippine Consulate General in Dubai (PCGDXB) to assist 24,150 distressed Filipinos in Dubai and the Northern Emirates for the entire 2018.
Sheikh Mohammed emphasized that the United Arab Emirates is a shining model of tolerance and openness in the region.
The epidemic began in August 2018 in North Kivu province before spreading to neighbouring Ituri and South Kivu -- a remote and largely lawless region bordering Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi.
Thunderstorms and a heavy downpour caused havoc in several villages, destroying dozens of homes, in an unusual rainfall event. A meteorologist said the rainfall could be due to climate change.