Presidential aspirant Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. (PNA photo by Robinson Niñal Jr.)

MANILA – Presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. thanked his supporters late Monday evening as he led the partial and unofficial results of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) transparency server with nearly 30 million votes.

Though he is leading by a big margin against his closest rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, based on the partial unofficial count, Marcos urged Filipinos to continue to remain vigilant and protect their votes.

"Ngunit kahit hindi pa tapos nga ang pagbibilang, hindi makapag-antay ang aking pasasalamat sa inyong lahat. Ang aking pasasalamat sa lahat ng tumulong, sa lahat ng sumapi sa aming ipinaglaban, sa inyong sakripisyo, sa inyong trabaho at sa binigay ninyo sa amin na oras, na kakayahan, ng sipag (Even though the counting of votes is not yet over, I cannot wait to express my gratitude to all of you. I am grateful to everyone who helped and joined our fight, as well as for your sacrifices, work, time, skills, and hard work to us),” Marcos said at his campaign headquarters in Mandaluyong City.

Marcos said there were a lot of volunteers, groups, and political leaders who helped his candidacy and believed in the UniTeam alliance's campaign of unity with his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte.

Duterte is also leading by a huge margin over Senator Francis Pangilinan.

“I want to thank you for all that you have done for us. There are thousands of you out there: volunteers, parallel groups, political leaders that have…that cast their lot with us, because of their belief in our message of unity, because of their belief in the candidate, in the Marcos-Duterte tandem," he said.

Partial and unofficial results as of 1 p.m. showed that Marcos has received over 30.8 million votes as against Robredo's 14.7 million, with 97 percent of precincts reporting.

Marcos has already surpassed President Rodrigo Duterte's winning numbers of over 16 million votes in 2016.

Duterte is ahead with 31.3 million votes, trailed by Pangilinan's 9.1 million and Senate President Vicente Sotto III's 8.1 million.

“If I’ll be elected, I hope your assistance will not fade, and also your trust. We still have much to do,” Marcos said.

 Part of success

Reelectionist Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, running fourth as of the noon unofficial tally, said he will work for the success of the impending Marcos-Duterte administration.

"I believe that if they're successful, we will be successful also. I will be one of their partners in their legislative agenda," he said in a radio interview.

Gatchalian said Marcos has a deep knowledge of the energy sector which he, as Committee on Energy chair, always insists should be given more attention.

Senator Joel Villanueva, another reelectionist also in the top 12, urged respect for the democratic process, whatever the results may be.

"I am hoping that after this, let's move forward. Let's unite as one country," he said in a statement. (PNA)