Overseas Filipino voters in Canada have overwhelmingly chosen Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for next president of their native country.
Based on results available so far, Marcos has received 13,783 votes from ballots cast in Philippine diplomatic posts in Canada.
That’s more than double the 6,782 votes for Marcos’ main competitor, Maria Leonor Robredo, who is also currently Vice President of the Philippines.
The vote in Canada mirrors the overall trend from the May 9, 2022 election in the Philippines.
Based on monitoring by Metro Manila-based broadcasting company ABS-CBN of partial and unofficial results, Marcos garnered 31,104,175 votes for a landslide victory.
Robredo placed a distant second with 14,822,051 votes.
U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping have congratulated Marcos.
Marcos is the son and namesake of the late Ferdinand Marcos Sr., who ruled the Philippines from 1965 to 1986.
The former Marcos government was overthrown in a largely peaceful military uprising in 1986 following a contested presidential election.
Of the 10 candidates for president that received votes from overseas Filipinos in Canada, businessman Faisal Mangondato placed last with two votes.
Filipinos residing abroad and have maintained their citizenship are allowed to vote under Philippine law.
In Canada, these include dual citizens, permanent residents, temporary workers, students, and seafarers.
Rowena Papasin is a seasoned journalist and a Vancouver-based correspondent with ABS-CBN.
In a May 14 report, Papasin cited Philippine Ambassador to Canada Rodolfo Robles noting that more than 37 percent of the nearly 90,000 registered Filipino voters in Canada participated in May 9 electoral exercise.
Papasin noted in her report that the Philippine embassy in Ottawa had an almost 43 percent voter turnout.
Meanwhile, the consulate in Toronto had 31 percent; Vancouver, about 48 percent; and Calgary, more than 33 percent.
“That’s beyond my expectation. I’m very happy about it, that our people here are responding to the call for participation in this political exercise," Robles said in Papasin’s ABS-CBN report.
Meanwhile in Vancouver, a number of Robredo supporters have raised doubts about the integrity of the election.
The matter was raised before the Philippine consulate general by a group represented by Marilyn Capucao, a former colleague of Robredo in the Philippines.
In a December 11, 2021 report, the Straight quoted Capucao saying that the Philippines needs “somebody with integrity” to lead the country, and that person is none other than Robredo.
Robredo supporters stated in a letter that they “question the results of the counting”.
They noted that the results are “within relatively the same percentage range in all the 14 precincts covered” by the consulate in Vancouver.
They asked for an explanation of this “perfectly linear trend that happened in the midst of variables”.
The election results were tallied through automation.
The overall trend from the May 9 election seems to show that Marcos consistenly secured more than 60 percent of the vote compared to Robredo’s share of 30 percent from various polling areas.
Maria Andrelita Austria is the Philippine consul general in Vancouver.
The well-liked diplomat responded to Capucao, saying that the consulate has forwarded their concerns to the Commission on Elections in the Philippines.
“As monitored by the observers and poll watchers, the role of our team was to feed the ballots into the vote counting machines, which produces the returns,” Austria wrote in her response.
Austria continued, “We are really not in a position to comment on the trend, or the results.”
In a November 18, 2021 report, the Straight interviewed Richmond entrepreneur Stella Daza-Belda, a staunch supporter of Marcos.
Daza-Belda and her family have personally known the Marcoses from the time of Marcos Sr.
In the interview last year, Daza-Belda said that Marcos Sr. did a lot of good things, and that Marcos Jr. will do the same.
Following the May 9, 2022 election, the Straight sought Daza-Belda again for comment about the results.
“It’s the people’s voice,” Daza-Belda said in a phone interview.
She also dismissed suspicions of electoral fraud in Vancouver, noting that Robredo had supporters who monitored the automated counting.
“Unless concrete proof is presented, it’s best that we all move on,” Daza-Belda said.
Marcos Jr., known to many as Bongbong or BBM, is set to assume office on June 30 this year.