In the race for the first congressional district of South Cotabato, reelectionist Rep. Darlene Antonio-Custodio widened her lead some more as partial and unofficial results as of 10 a.m. Wednesday show she was ahead by 25,741 votes over the knockout artist.
The National Movement for Free Elections and the National Secretariat for Social Action (NAMFREL-NASSA) tally shows that Custodio has 60,117 votes against Pacquiao's 34,376.
Thirty eight percent or 893 of the total 1,461 precincts in the district have been tabulated.
Reelectionist Mayor Pedro Acharon, on the other hand, is also way ahead of former mayor Rosalita Nunez. Acharon is Custodio's party-mate, while Nunez is Pacquiao's. Acharon has 62,700 votes so far against Nunez's 24,165.
Custodio and her supporters offered a thanksgiving Mass even before final results are out, but she said it was for the peaceful conduct of the election.
Pacquiao, on the other hand, said over national television that he is ready to accept the outcome of the election. "In a battle, you win or you lose. I will accept defeat as long as we determine it's a clean election," he said.
But he did not concede defeat yet.
In the second congressional district, incumbent Rep. Arthur Pingoy is leading by a slim margin with his 23,487 votes against former governor Hilario de Pedro III's 23,116. These were votes from 350 of 370 precincts in the capital Koronadal City.
South Cotabato Gov. Daisy Avance Fuentes and Sarangani Gov. Rene Miguel Dominguez, based on unofficial results, are expected to be reelected. (MindaNews)