PHILSTAR/MIGUEL DE GUZMAN
THE PROCLAMATION of the top 10 senators in the May 13 elections may come ahead of the “crucial” 11th and 12th winners, but the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has declined to commit to a specific date.
Comelec Education and Information Director Frances A. Arabe told reporters on Sunday that the poll body cannot give the exact date with still a few Certificates of Canvass (COCs) to be delivered and tallied.
Party-list winners are also awaiting proclamation.
”This week…as long as we get the COCs we are waiting for,” Ms. Arabe said.
She added that a partial proclamation is also possible, depending on the voter turnout of the COCs they will be canvassing, even if the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) will not be tallying all the remaining COCs.
“Kung kaya mag-partial, mag-pa-partial muna kami (If we can do partial, we will do it partially first),” she said.
For his part, Election lawyer George Erwin M. Garcia said the Comelec can do the partial proclamation, noting that this has been a common practice.
“Sa nakaraan, ‘yun talaga ginagawa ng Comelec (In the past, Comelec has been doing that),” he said, adding that the top nine to 10 could be comfortably proclaimed.
“(The) 11th or 12th, (that’s) crucial,” he said.
As of 8 p.m. May 18, with 158 of 167 COCs canvassed, the top 10 senators are: Cynthia Villar, Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Bong Go, Pia Cayetano, Bato Dela Rosa, Sonny Angara, Lito Lapid, Imee Marcos, Francis Tolentino, and Koko Pimentel.
Ranking 11th and 12th with their corresponding votes are: Bong Revilla — 13,873,309, and Nancy Binay — 13,784,692.
Trailing them on the 13th and 14th spots are: JV Ejercito — 13,677,424, and Bam Aquino — 13,675,820.
As of Sunday afternoon, 161 out of 167 COCs have already been included in the canvass by the NBOC.
COCs that have yet to be canvassed are those from Japan, Abuja (Nigeria), Washington DC (United States of America), Saudi Arabia, Zamboanga Del Sur, and Isabela.
Isabela will hold a reelection in one of its towns, Jones, as some vote counting machines in the area were burnt.
In another development, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) chair Leody De Guzman filed a motion to suspend the ongoing canvassing.
In his Manifestation and Urgent Motion dated May 15, Mr. De Guzman said he is calling on the NBOC to “Cancel and/or suspend proceedings for the canvassing of votes for the senators and party-list representatives until and after the pending incidents, raised in this motion have already been resolved.”
Mr. De Guzman said the Comelec should first investigate the seven-hour data glitch of the transparency servers after the elections.
Ms. Arabe said they have received the motion and other similar petitions, which are now under review. — Gillian M. Cortez