UNLIKE many voters who encountered problems during the election, President Benigno Aquino III cast his vote in Tarlac City without issue with members of his family.
Wearing a light brown shirt and blue jeans, Aquino arrived at the Central Azucarera de Tarlac School inside the Hacienda Luisita at 9:20 a.m. with his sisters Maria Elena “Ballsy” Aquino-Cruz and Aurora Corazon “Pinky” Aquino-Abellada, their husbands and children.
Accompanied by videographers from Radio-Television Malacañang, Aquino searched for his name from the list of voters in his precinct, exchanged pleasantries with other voters and joined a queue for almost an hour.
Compared to other voters who took only around five minutes to complete the voting process, Aquino spent about 15 minutes to finish—taking his time to carefully fill his ballot, review his choices, casting his ballot and verifying his voter’s receipt.
Aquino refused to speak to reporters but he appeared to be in high spirits, smiling broadly to the people at the school before he returned to Malacañang to monitor the polls, Palace officials said.
Over the weekend, Aquino urged voters to form a united front with Liberal Party standard bearer Mar Roxas against frontrunner Rodrigo Duterte, who has threatened to padlock Congress if it goes against him. The three other presidential candidates spurned his proposal.
Without mentioning the tough-talking Davao City mayor by name, Roxas also warned of “the spectre of a looming dictatorship” under a Duterte presidency.
“It behooves everybody to try and get together and ensure, instead of thinking what we should do if everything he says is exactly what he intends to do, why don’t we remove that problem or threat or insecurity by uniting the 70 and defeating the 30,” he said in an interview.
Aquino was referring to several statements of presidential candidate Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte threatening, among others, to padlock Congress.
“I’m trying to get all of these different voices from so many sectors together and in that sense perhaps help our candidates get together and have that united front,” he added.
Over the weekend, Aquino said he was confident the Daang Matuwid [Straight Path] coalition will win the election.
“I thank you again because we will win again on Monday,” Aquino said in a speech during the LP miting de avance at the Quezon City Circle on Saturday.