Three days after the May 9 national elections, presidential candidate Vice President Jejomar Binay has finally congratulated presumptive president-elect Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday night.
Joey Salgado, Binay's communications director, said late Thursday evening, May 12 that the vice president already talked Duterte, who has an unbeatable score in the partial and unofficial tally of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
"We confirm that Vice President Binay has talked to President-elect Duterte. He extended his congratulations and wished the president-elect all the best," Salgado noted.
In a report by Rappler, it is said that Bong Go, Duterte's executive assistant, verified that Binay spoke to Duterte at around 5:40 pm.
"Nag-congrats kay Mr Pres (He said congratulations to Mr President)," noted Go.
But does congratulating also mean conceding?
"Alam niyo po kasi yung word na concede, maaari pong sa kanilang parte 'yun po ang intepretation nila. Pagtawag po namin ay nagko-concede na. Sa amin pong banda, hindi po natin ginagamit 'yung salitang 'yun sapagkat gusto po natin talagang tapusin 'yung proseso, respetuhin ang proseso, at we rally behind one president," Go stated in an interview with CNN Philippines on Friday.
(You know, they might use the word concede based on their interpretation. We called so we conceded. In our part, we don't use that word because we want the process to be finished, to respect the process, and we rally behind one president.)
Binay, who was leading early pre-election presidential surveys, said he will not concede defeat until the final release of the results is complete.
"I have repeatedly called for respecting institutions and the democratic process. Once the process is completed, we should always respect the outcome. We should all move towards healing and unity for our divided land," the vice president remarked in a statement late evening on May 9.
Independent Sen. Grace Poe was the first to concede on the night of elections and was followed by Liberal Party standard-bearer Manuel "Mar" Roxas II on May 10.
Meanwhile, Duterte remains leading with over 16 million votes based on the semi-official counts by Comelec.