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Tolentino says poll figures ‘validate’ claim of 2016 poll cheating

Francis Tolentino delivers his introductory remarks during the Harapan 2019 Senatorial Town Hall Debate at ABS-CBN on February 17, 2019. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA – Senatorial candidate Francis Tolentino on Tuesday said the result of the midterm polls validate his claim that he lost votes in 2016 when 12th placer Sen. Leila de Lima dislodged him from the race by over 1.3 million votes.

Tolentino holds the 9th spot in this year’s senatorial polls with 14,829,112 votes from 93.91 percent of transmitted election returns as of 9:14 a.m.

The long-time Tagaytay City mayor is part of the ruling party PDP-Laban and is also being endorsed by regional party slate Hugpong ng Pagbabago.

“If you take a look at my figures during my first run, hindi naman po nalalayo eh. So ‘yun ang kineclaim ko before na I lost some votes during the 2016 initial run. It more or less validated some of my figures,” Tolentino said. 

He added that President Rodrigo Duterte’s endorsement helped him land the 9th spot. 

The former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chief was also endorsed by religious group Iglesia Ni Cristo. 

“I never had a presidential endorsement before. It really showed trust and confidence in his candidate, modesty aside so nakatulong po ng malaki,” he said. 

“There are some factors talaga na nagkaroon lang ng congruence of influences so to speak pero talagang trabaho rin talaga mas nahirapan ako ngayon than during my first run, I ran as an independent,” he added.

Click here for ABS-CBN’s election results:

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