His mood is calm as usual but when his supporters started chanting his name and starts wiping tears as he concedes defeat, Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas could not help but turn emotional too.
“Based on the unofficial count of the COMELEC (Commission on Elections), it is clear that Mayor Rodrigo Duterte will be the next president of the Republic of the Philippines,” said Roxas in a speech which he wrote by himself.
“Digong (nickname of Duterte), I wish you success. Your victory is a victory of our people and of our country,” he added.
Roxas began his speech by expressing gratitude to his supporters whom he said warmly welcomed him and his runningmate Leni Robredo in their campaign sorties in the provinces.
He also thanked President Aquino and his family, the Liberal Party, various cause-oriented groups and volunteers for believing in him and his platform.
“To all of you who took up the cudgels, who shared in our aspirations, na nakasama kong tumayo, maraming maraming salamat sa inyong lahat,” he said.
“I read somewhere that that it is not the battle or the conquest that we remember. But the soldier who stood beside us, na tumutoo sa atin, who we treasure the most,” he added.
Then his supporters started chanting his name while some could not help but cry and sought comfort from one another.
Roxas supporter Ynes Bautista for instance has her eyes fixed on the LP standard-bearer, saying later that he felt the emotion that the losing presidential bet has been hiding.
Upon seeing the reaction of his supporters, Roxas immediately tried to comfort them.
“There are many tears in the room. Let me tell you this: this is not a time for tears. For our country, we have had a successful transfer of power,” said Roxas.