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Comelec: Winners' proclamation reset

The Commission on Elections on Saturday said the proclamation of senatorial winners initially planned for today would not push through.

Comelec: Winners' proclamation reset
FROM THE VATICAN. The secretariat presents the ballot box with its contents from Vatican City to the National Board of Canvassers. The canvassing of votes for senators and party-list groups is continuing, with COMELEC officials saying proclamation may happen between Sunday and Tuesday. Norman Cruz
Frances Arabe, director of the Comelec’s education and information department, made the announcement in a press conference where she said canvassing had yet to be completed, with 17 certificates of canvass still remaining.

The remaining COCs are from Lanao del Sur; Isabela; Zamboanga del Norte; Zamboanga del Sur; Washington, DC; Japan; Saudi Arabia; Kuwait; Oslo; Abuja, Nigeria; Nairobi; and Tehran. 

The NBOC has so far canvassed 149 out of 167 certificates. 

“The scheduled announcement made yesterday will not push through [on Sunday]. We are not ready to proclaim yet so the schedule will be announced [later]. Depends if we will be able to finish all the COCs tomorrow,” she said.

She added the Comelec had coordinated with the candidates leading the senatorial race.

As of Friday night, senators Cynthia Villar and Grace Poe topped the Comelec’s partial and official tally with 23,610,580 and 20,711,849 votes, respectively.

Meanwhile, various militant group, led by Sanlakas and Partido Lakas ng Masa senatorial candidate Leody de Guzman, called on the Comelec, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, to suspend the proclamation of national candidates pending a thorough investigation on irregularities and allegations of voter fraud during the May 13 midterm elections.

READ: Congress sets June 4 probe of poll glitches

Lawyer Aaron Pedrosa, Sanlakas secretary general and nominee for Partido Lakas ng Masa party-list, said these issues marred the credibility of the election results and put in question the legitimacy of its “winners.”

Pedrosa insisted “it is only through public access to the data logs will we allay suspicions of electoral fraud arising from vote manipulation.”

Pedrosa said De Guzman had adopted the similar motion and manifestation filed by Append party-list, Partido Lakas ng Masa party-list, Murang Kuryente party-list, and Ang Nars party-list who asked the Commission on Elections to stop or suspend the canvassing of votes for the party-list representatives and defer the proclamation of those who might obtain the minimum number of votes.

In a separate statement, De Guzman also questioned the “undue haste” of the Comelec to proclaim winners in the senatorial and party-list elections, reportedly scheduled today.

De Guzman said: “Why is Comelec in a hurry when there are pending manifestations to investigate allegations and irregularities? 

“Comelec should look into incidents and reports that taint the integrity of the ballot, these include the breakdown of vote counting machines, the eight-hour blackout in the transmission of electoral results, the heightened practice of vote buying, the negative campaigning and black propaganda by AFP and PNP against militant party-list groups.”

In a related development, the Comelec, sitting as members of the National Board of Canvassers for the 2019 elections, is left with 20 more COCs as of Saturday afternoon, 147 out of 167 COCs.

In the party-list polls, there are 131 groups competing for 61 seats at the House of Representatives.

A poll official said the remaining COCs could no longer affect the current senatorial standings, saying the number of votes being contested on the 12th place was between 200,000 and 300,000 votes, while the remaining COCs could only reach more than 100,000 votes.

Reelectionist senators Cynthia Villar and Grace Poe continue to top the senatorial race in the partial and unofficial results of the midterm elections from the polls transparency server.

Based on 98.09 percent of nationwide election returns processed, Villar had 25,082,779 votes while Poe got 21,891,796 votes.

Former Special Assistant to the President Bong Go was in third place at 20,411,431 votes.

The rest of the Top 12 and their number of votes are:

Pia Cayetano: 19,608,110

Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa:

18,763,572

Sonny Angara: 18,022,308

Lito Lapid: 16,858,671

Imee Marcos: 15,710,402

Francis Tolentino: 15,334,519

Ramon “Bong” Revilla: 14,520,166

Koko Pimentel: 14,519,562

Nancy Binay: 14,432,215

Meanwhile, the Comelec has reminded candidates in Iloilo province to submit their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez issued the reminder to all candidates who ran or not, who won or lost, that they need to submit SOCE within 30 days from the end of elections and until June 12.

“Otherwise, what the law says is that they will be unable to assume their elective positions,” he said.

Based on Resolution 10505, the Comelec said, “No elected candidate shall enter upon the duties of the office until he filed his SOCE.”

It added that the office of an elected candidate who failed to file SOCE shall be considered “vacant” pursuant to Section 11 of the Omnibus Election Code until he has complied and submitted his SOCE within six months from the proclamation.

Section 11 of the OEC states that “the office of any official elected who fails or refuses to take his oath of office within six months from his proclamation shall be considered vacant.”

After the lapse of the said period and the candidate failed to assume office, the Comelec said a “permanent vacancy” occurs for which said office shall be filled up in accordance with the law.

Despite the Comelec insistence that they have provided the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting access to the audit logs of the transparency server, De Guzman in his press statement said in his motion that “this alone will not give the electorate satisfactory answers that would eliminate suspicions as to perceived irregularities arising from technical glitches."

READ: PPCRV deploys 300k volunteers

He explained it was the mandate of the electoral commission to conduct clean, honest and credible elections and any undue haste to proclaim candidates without threshing out all the issues raised by various groups will only give credence to politicians who benefitted from systematic fraud and disenfranchisement of the electorate.

READ: Rody big winner in Monday’s polls

Topics: Commission on Elections , Frances Arabe , Cynthia Villar , Grace Poe , Leody de Guzman
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