Bongbong, Sara garner major support of Filipinos in the UAE


The Philippines’ Commission on Elections and Philippine Consulate General in Dubai-accredited poll watchers check on the unofficial and partial election results on Tuesday in Al Qusais.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Reflective of the trend in their home country, a majority of the registered overseas Filipino voters across the UAE have thrown their support behind president presumptive Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and running mate vice president presumptive Sara Duterte-Carpio at 76,819 and 79,925 votes, respectively.

The conclusion was based on the results of the canvassed election returns Gulf Today obtained on Thursday morning. The tabulation also revealed that the majority of the 97,314 Filipinos who participated in the April 10 to May 9 overseas absentee voting (OAV) for the choice of the 17th Philippine president and 16th Philippine vice president, had favoured eight senatorial candidates running under the Bongbong Marcos-Sara Duterte UNITEAM alliance.

The 97,314 was 33.53 per cent of the 290,183 registered OAV Filipinos in the UAE, earlier announced by Philippine Ambassador Hjayceelyn Quintana, prior to the start of the canvassing of election returns on Wednesday she oversaw and which ran for seven hours at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi: “I extend my appreciation to the UAE for the assistance extended to the Philippine missions in the UAE which served as polling places for the in-person casting of votes.” She thanked the Filipino voters for their cooperation in ensuring a safe, orderly, and peaceful elections.”

“A total of 60,393 (31.49 per cent of the 191,779 registered voters from Dubai and the Northern Emirates)” had exercised their right of suffrage, according to a Philippine Consulate General in Dubai press release on Thursday afternoon.

Filipinos in the UAE have been consistently ranked as the highest number of voters through all OAVs conducted in all the 100-plus Philippine diplomatic and consular missions worldwide-currently at 1,697,215. Those from the Dubai and the Northern Emirates “were the highest number of overseas voters in the Middle East since the OAV began in 2004.”

Averaged, the 76,819 votes for Bongbong, only son and namesake of the late strongman President Marcos Sr., was a majority vote at 78.94 per cent. The 79,925 votes for Davao City Mayor Sara, daughter of outgoing Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, was also a majority vote at 82.13 per cent.

Their leading contenders, running mates Vice President Leni Robredo who already conceded on Wednesday, and Senator Francis Pangilinan respectively, garnered 15,260 votes at 15.68 per cent and 11,680 votes at 12 per cent of the 97,314 votes cast.

The top 12 senatorial candidates are film actor/producer/director Robin Padilla, 70,120; former journalist/Antique Representative Loren Legarda, 63,710; former Duterte Administration Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, 56,600; human rights lawyer/former Duterte presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, 49,077; lawyer Larry Gadon, 48,751; Macapagal-Arroyo Administration National Defence Secretary Gilbert Teodoro, 47,137; Sorsogon Governor Francis Escudero, 46,083; incumbent Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri, 43,540; veteran broadcast journalist/multi-media personality Raffy Tulfo, 42,803; former actor/former Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista, 41,624; former Duterte Chief Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo, 39,729; and former Duterte Administration Foreign Affairs Secretary/incumbent Taguig-Pateros Representative Alan Peter Cayetano, 38,255.

Among the top 10 shortlisted for the landmark “Aster Guardians Global Nursing Awards” of the UAE homegrown Aster DM Healthcare, visiting Francis Michael Fernando, of the North East London National Health Service Foundation Trust in the UK, who comes from a lineage of medical/ healthcare specialists in Nueva Ecija, Philippines and from the sidelines of the ceremonies on Thursday, volunteered that Filipinos worldwide, ought to accept the majority decision of the Filipino voters and support the incoming administration. In the UK for the past 21 years where a son is into medical studies while another is contemplating to take up a Psychology course in another university, Fernando has been in the forefront of the Filipino nurses association in the UK as he espouses “for the rights, equalities, the physical and mental well-being, improvement in the work-life balance, opportunities for career progression and promotion of positive images of nurses globally.”

A professor in the UAE for the past 12 years and 17 years at the premier Philippine Military Academy teaching Psychology, Social Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, History, Educational Assessment, and Educational Psychology, Dr. Djonde Frega Antiado, said: “Numerous research conducted show that people tend to trust and vote for candidates who run a positive and clean campaign. Negativity begets negativity. Politicians and would-be politicians alike should take notice of this. If a presidential aspirant used negative campaigning and wins, he or she will have to exert more effort to break polarization and disunity or undo the effects of negative campaigning.”

Canadian University Dubai-Faculty of Management professor Dr. Rommel Sergio said “the way forward” to the consequences of the highly divisive presidential campaigning is “healing. After all, the venting out on social media and tedious street march, among other ways and means, issues will subside and fade off. Support that must be accorded to all the elected officials will afloat.”


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