By Deighton Acuin

PHOTO: Associated Press

It is unexpected but happy for the camp of former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. as the country's presumptive president garnered more than 31 million votes, paving way for the Marcoses' comeback after decades of being ousted in Malacañang.

“Did we expect 31 million? Honestly, no. Are we happy? Absolutely we are happy with the 31 million,” Rodriguez said in an interview with veteran broadcaster Karen Davila aired over ANC.

“When we were starting, our base really, on the assumption of what was based on the numbers in 2016, his count will not begin from zero. His count will begin from 14 million something, and using the 2016 scenario where we saw a great votes for President [Rodrigo] Duterte, we projected we need at least 20 million to win convincingly,” he added.

Rodriguez said they are only projecting 25 million votes for Marcos, a figure which had been perceived to be with the backing of the supporters on the ground during the 90-day campaign period.

“We felt we could push it up to 25 million. But we are now looking at the surveys parang higit pa sa 25 [million] e so (it seems we can surpass 25 million) we just have to wait and after the end of the campaign, we assessed last May 8. With our due diligence, we did everything humanly possible,” Rodriguez said.

As of May 12, Marcos is still the leading candidate with more than 31 million votes and his running mate Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio has more than 31 million as well, establishing a commanding lead against their archrivals Vice President Leni Robredo and Senator Kiko Pangilinan with more than 14 million and 9 million votes, respectively.

On Wednesday, Bongbong Marcos already claimed his victory even though the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) for presidential and vice-presidential races, composed of lawmakers from the House of Representatives and the Senate, is yet to reconvene on May 23.

With his impending proclamation, the presumptive president has received congratulatory calls from world leaders Chinese President Xi Jinping and United States President Joe Biden, in which he revealed that he invited Biden to his inauguration on June 30. 

However, as reported by the Associated Press, a “high-level American delegation” could attend the ceremony as the US president will stay in Washington due to urgent concerns.

Edited by: Kyla Balatbat