Rodrigo Duterte, a tough-talking city mayor, was set to become the next president of the Philippines as his closest rival conceded defeat on Tuesday.
"It is clear that Mayor Duterte is the next president of the Republic of the Philippines," administration candidate Mar Roxas told reporters. "Let us respect and accept the decision of the people."
Duterte, mayor of the southern city of Davao, had received nearly 39 per cent of the votes, or 15.31 million, followed by Roxas, who had 23.32 per cent, or 9.22 million, with 91 per cent of precincts tallied by the Parish Pastoral Council on Responsible Voting (PPCRV).
Third-place finisher Senator Grace Poe, who received over 8 million votes according to the unofficial count, conceded defeat late Monday.
Duterte, nicknamed “the Punisher” for his tough stance on crime, has yet to give an official reaction to the results.
He shocked the country during the campaign as he often swore in his speeches and even joked about rape. He once said that Manila Bay would turn red from the bodies he will dump there and that “God will weep” if he becomes president.
On Monday, he toned down his language and called for reconciliation after an acrimonious campaign.
“I offer my hand in friendship to those who were my opponents in this elections,” he said. “It’s time for healing.”
In the vice presidential race, Congresswoman Leni Robredo overtook the only son and namesake of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a tight contest.
Robredo was leading with 80,900 more votes than Marcos, popularly known by his nickname “Bongbong."
The PPCRV has been accredited by the Commission on Elections to conduct a quick count based on actual election returns. The official tally will later be conducted by Congress as required by law.
The commission said voter turnout in Monday’s polls was estimated at 80 per cent. More than half of the predominantly Catholic country’s 100 million people – or 54 million – were registered to vote.