By Vanessa Merjudio David, ABS-CBN North America Bureau
OTTAWA – Filipinos in Canada voted and the majority of them chose Rodrigo Duterte for president and Bongbong Marcos for vice president.
The partial, unofficial consolidated results of Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver suggest Duterte garnered 15,643 votes. Mar Roxas came in second and Miriam Defensor in third.
There was a high turnout of voters in Ottawa. 34 percent out of 7,333 registered voters voted, which is a 600 percent increase from past elections.
Voter turnout in Toronto was 8,924 voters out of 34,647 registered voters. Meanwhile, Vancouver was 11,400 voters out of 30,00 registered voters.
“We’re very happy with the voter turn out this year,” Philippine Ambassador to Canada Petronila Garcia said. “In Canada, we have an aggregate of more than 70,000 registered voters, which is 5 percent of all the voters worldwide. It’s a very significant number of voters.”
Norberto Mandin Jr. from PDP-Laban political party is happy with all the voter turnouts but thinks it is not enough to influence more Filipinos to vote.
“Maganda naman ang turnout kasi nag increase sila unlike last elections, konti lang yung bomoto. Pero para sa akin kulang pa rin kasi dapat malaman ng ibang Pilipino na kailangan nila mag exercise ng kanilang pagboto kahit nandito na sila,” Mandin said.
Manuel Cadiz, who travelled to Ottawa from Toronto, is hoping for the best from a Duterte government even though his own presidential bet has conceded.
“One thing that’s positive for me is the Democratic process. So far it’s been transparent.That’s what’s important for me,” Cadiz said. “The people have a say, they get to choose what they want, and in a way you’re still optimistic for the Filipino people.”
When the race for vice president was neck to neck between Leni Robredo and Marcos, Tess Tesalona from Montreal questioned Marcos.
“Yun ang kagustuhan ng mga mamamayan. Parang landslide para kay Duterte. (jump cut) Ang nakakalungkot lang din, parang hindi na remember ng mga tao ang nangyari nung martial law. Kasi bakit nandito na naman si Marcos,” Tesalona said.
Even though the Philippines is over 6,900 miles away, Filipino-Canadians are hopeful for a brighter Philippines.