Congress has proclaimed former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and incumbent Davao City mayor Sara Duterte of Uniteam as the country’s 17th president and 15th vice president, respectively, following the shortest recount in election history so far.

The House and Senate, serving as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), approved the joint canvassing committee report and adopted the accompanying resolution of both chambers regarding the proclamation of the winners of the presidential and vice presidential elections held on May 9.

The joint congressional canvassing committee confirmed that Marcos had won the presidency with 31,629,783 votes, or more than 16 million votes ahead of Leni Robredo in second place.

Duterte, on the other hand, won the vice presidential race overwhelmingly in the Congress’ official count, with 32,208,417 votes, or a staggering 22 million advantage over her nearest challenger, Senator Francis Pangilinan.

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The president of the Senate, Vicente Sotto III, and the speaker of the House, Lord Allan Velasco, proclaimed Marcos and Duterte to be the duly elected president and vice president. The event marks a two-day official vote count by the country’s National Board of Canvassers.

House majority leader Martin Romualdez emphasized the record-breaking 83.11 percent voter turnout for the May 9 election, which included more than 55 million voters.

“Indeed, our democracy is alive and vibrant! The ever-growing political interest shown by our electorate is symbolic of the people’s clamor for change, prosperity, and progress,” Romualdez said.

He indicated that the Joint Committee canvassed a total of 171 certificates of canvass (CoCs), 132 of which were electronically transmitted to the Consolidated and Canvassing System (CCS) by the Board of Canvassers of provinces, cities, and overseas absentee voting countries, and 39 of which were physically delivered to the Senate by the Special Board of Canvassers for overseas absentee voting, local absentee voting, and detainee voting.

Romualdez encouraged Filipinos to set aside their political differences and support the newly elected leaders of the country.

“With the country reeling from the impact of a global pandemic and other major calamities and disasters, it was evident that the nation was divided as to what direction to take in order to move forward. But the majority has spoken. It is high time that we listen to their voice and uphold the outcome of our democratic process,” he said.

“Let us heal the wounds of political division, brace ourselves for the challenges ahead, and move forward as a strong and united Philippines. Let us be prepared to work harder for the nation and give our full support to the new leadership. At the end of the day, we are all Filipinos and we want nothing than to see our beloved nation chart its own course and ultimately triumph,” he added.

The Marcos-Duterte UniTeam tandem won on a platform of unity, which will be the “stepping-stone” of the country’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier, several world leaders including those from the US, China, Russia, Japan, Australia, South Korea and the European Union have congratulated Marcos on his win.

Following Congress’ proclamation of Marcos as the president-elect, the transition period will begin leading to the inauguration on June 30.

Duterte, meanwhile, earlier announced that her inauguration is set for June 19. (PNA)

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