Canvassing almost complete, Comelec says
WILLIAM B. DEPASUPIL AND ARIC JOHN SY CUA
The Manila Times
ONLY 35 of the total 173 certificates of canvass (COCs) needed to be processed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), before it suspended its session on Friday afternoon. Comelec Chairman Saidamen Pangarungan suspended the canvassing at 4:45 p.m., which will resume at 3 p.m. on Saturday, pending the arrival of the remaining certificates from different provinces, cities and overseas posts which will be electronically or manually transmitted. Comelec spokesman Rex Laudiangco said the board remains confident it will finish the canvassing this week and can proclaim the winning senators and party-list group by Monday. The board finished 33 COCs before session was suspended Friday. They came from Pasig City, Ilocos Sur, The Netherlands, Valenzuela City, Makati City, Cavite, Surigao del Sur, Moscow, Taguig-Pateros, Oriental Mindoro, Mandaluyong City, Parañaque City, Brussels, Aklan, Ankara, Tel Aviv, Occidental Mindoro, Biliran, Negros Occidental, Camarines Norte, Bacolod City, Camiguin, Cairo, Paris, Quirino, Iloilo City, Sorsogon, Benguet, Jakarta, Eastern Samar, Baguio City and Pangasinan. Laudiangco said already transmitted were the COCs of the Cordillera Administrative Region, National Capital Region, and Regions 1, 2, 3, 4 A ,4 B ,5,6,7,8,9,11,12 and 13. He said the Comelec is preparing the guidelines for the proclamation of senators and party-list groups. Each senator-elect would be allowed three companions, and party-list groups could bring two. Laudiangco said senators will be proclaimed ahead of party-list groups because additional computations are needed in allocating party-list seats. He said the possibility of proclaiming some party-list groups that have garnered the required votes together with the 12 senators-elect is being explored. During a briefing on Friday, the Parish Pastoral Council reported having received over 45,000 election returns. PPCRV board member Agnes Gervacio said 45,135 returns were received as of 5 p.m. Friday, or 41.88 percent of the total. Gervacio said the returns were from Tarlac, Zambales, Batangas, Pangasinan, Quezon Province, Laguna, Bulacan, Sorsogon, Nueva Ecija, Ilocos Norte, Bataan, Cavite, Rizal, Pampanga, Camarines Sur, all cities in the National Capital Region, Cebu, Samar, Leyte, Eastern Samar, Zamboanga and Misamis Oriental. She said there is no match rate yet coming from the new returns. “We’re currently doing that at the moment,” Gervacio said. The PPCRV Command Center at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) will operate nonstop starting Friday, with Sunday operations running from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. “We’re extending 24/7 to make sure that we can do our encoding today (Friday) and tomorrow (Saturday),” Gervacio said. Operating hours from Monday onwards will be announced on Sunday.