Nacionalista Party standard-bearer Senator Manny Villar has announced that he is conceding the 2010 Presidential elections to Senator Noynoy Aquino.
Villar, in a presscon a few minutes ago, is the first presidential candidate to concede defeat but says that he will continue his mission of putting an end to poverty in the Philippines.
"It was a fight well fought," says Villar. "Hindi tayo biniyayaan ngunit humaharap ako sa inyo ngayon upang tanggapin ito. Ito ang boses ng ating mga kababayan. (We were not blessed and now I face all of you to accept this. This is the voice of our countrymen.)"
He continues, "The challenges that our country faces are enormous and we should work together. Lubos ako nalulungkot sa mga kasinungalingan tungkol sa aking pagkatao. Ako'y naniniwala na sa mga susunod na mga araw, ako'y mabibigyan ng pagkakataon upang malinis ang aking pangalan sa ating mga kababayan. Ito'y mahalaga sa akin. (I am deeply saddened about the lies spoken about my character. I believe that in the coming days, I will be given the opportunity to clear my name to our countrymen. This is important to me.)"
Villar says that although he is saddened by the outcome, he will support whoever the eventual winner of this year's elections will be and added later his congratulations to Aquino.
Villar didn't have his family with him, explaining that they have gone through enough in the weeks leading up to the elections.
Villar also thanked the media and says that he will remember all that they have been through during the campaign period. Villar still has one more term left in the senate and will resume his senatorial duties.
As of press time, Villar is in third place with 4,525,213 votes behind Aquino, 12,688,024 and former President Joseph Estrada, 8,048,861.