ABU DHABI // Filipino senatorial candidate Francis Escudero has clinched the majority of votes cast by expatriates in the UAE.
After a month of voting in Abu Dhabi and Dubai which ended on Monday, officials at the Philippine embassy and consulate confirmed Mr Escudero won 4,686 of the 6,888 votes cast.
The unofficial election results showed Alan Cayetano came in at a close second, drawing 4,638 votes.
In third place for the senate was Loren Legarda with 4,299 votes, followed by Koko Pimentel with 4,294. Grace Poe completed the top five with 4,220 votes.
There were 33 senatorial candidates standing for the Philippine election as well as 136 political parties representing different group interests.
The OFW Family party garnered the highest number of votes in the UAE at 1,604.
The UAE-specific results were available quickly thanks to the use of precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines in the election.
However, Grace Princesa, the Philippine ambassador to the UAE, said some compact flash cards used in the PCOS machines were found to be defective, which had delayed the counting and canvassing of votes that began on Monday night.
"It's a systems problem which will be sorted out soon," she said.
The candidates who made it to the sixth to 12th spot were Richard Gordon with 3,688 votes, Sonny Angara with 3,551 votes, Riza Hontiveros with 3,533 votes, Antonio Trilllanes with 3,460 votes, Bam Aquino with 3,433 votes, Ramon Magsaysay Jr with 3,022 votes and Gringo Honasan with 2,941 votes.
The results remain unofficial since they are yet to go through the National Board of Canvassers in Manila. The Commission on Elections will announce the official results by Wednesday.