Half of Otso Diretso accept defeat: We're praying for Bam, Mar

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 14) — Half of the opposition's Senate slate conceded on Tuesday, but they promised the fight for the Filipinos will not end with their defeat.

Otso Diretso candidates election lawyer Romy Macalintal, ex-Solicitor General Pilo Hilbay, civic leader Samira Gutoc, and former congressman Erin Tañada waved the white flag, ending months of their grueling campaign.

"The will of the people is supreme, so we respect the results of the elections... This is not the result we hoped for, but it is the reality that we have to face with the optimism that we will have better days," Hilbay said in a statement.

Macalintal added, "It is clear that a great majority of our voters have chosen other candidates. And I respect their decision."

Gutoc and Tañada said the opposition slate continues to support and pray for Bam Aquino and Mar Roxas, who are in the 14th and 16th spot respectively.

"We're still praying for Bam and Mar," Gutoc said.

There is no word yet from other Otso Diretso candidates human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, who is in the 21st place, and Magdalo Rep. Gary Alejano who is ranked 23rd. In a tweet, Diokno thanked his supporters, while Alejano said "It was a good fight.

Presidential spokesperson Sal Panelo reveled in the partial and unofficial vote count, saying the voters decided to shut out the Otso Diretso from the Senate.

"The voters rejected the negative propaganda unleashed by the opposition against President Rodrigo Duterte and his Administration, e.g. issues of extra-judicial killings, drug war, South China Sea, among others," he said.

But Gutoc, who resigned after Duterte cracked a rape joke, said their opposition against the policies of the government continues despite their defeat.

"Hindi tayo aatras. Our country is always worth fighting for. My prayers for you, Mr. President, is not to dismiss everything the opposition said during the campaign," she said.

Meanwhile, opposition candidate Ka Leody de Guzman has also conceded.