Latest Stories

6 senators proclaimed

Grace Poe draws loudest cheers; Nancy Binay a no-show

By , DJ Yap

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) proclaimed the top six winners of the senatorial race Thursday night, three days after the frustratingly slow count of the vote in what was supposed to be automated elections started.

Proclaimed winners were Grace Poe, Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano, Nancy Binay and Juan Edgardo Angara, whose rankings in the official and unofficial tallies had been virtually unchanged since the tabulation by the national board of canvassers (NBOC) began.

As of Thursday night, only 72 of the 304 certificates of canvass (COCs) had been officially accepted and tabulated by the NBOC at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

The 72 COCs represent 13,384,981 of the country’s 52 million registered voters.

The NBOC failed to proclaim all the 12 candidates within 48 hours after elections, as it had targeted.

Five of the six winners belong to the administration-backed Team PNoy.

The lone winner from the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) proclaimed winner was Binay, daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

The six winners will begin their six-year terms on June 30.

The Comelec gave the winners their certificates of proclamation in alphabetical order and not by the number of votes they received.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the next senators-elect would be proclaimed “in the next few days.”

Veteran election lawyer Romulo Macalintal described Thursday night’s proclamation as “defective,” as the votes garnered by the winners were not announced, thus their proclamation had “no basis.”

“All certificates of proclamation always proclaim the number of votes (received) by the candidates. Here, the question is how were they elected? There is no basis. It was only by the virtue of the power vested [in] the Comelec,” Macalintal said.

“This is the first time that a certificate of no votes was the basis of proclaiming alleged winners in the senatorial race,” he added.

Poe drew the loudest cheers from the crowd as she was officially named senator-elect. Accompanied by her mother, actress Susan Roces, she dedicated her victory to her father, the late movie actor Fernando Poe Jr., who lost a presidential run in 2004.

“I wish my father were here. But this is for him… I pray that he gives me inspiration to help me continue his work in helping the people who need it,” she said.

Escudero brought along a scene-stealer: his girlfriend, actress Heart Evangelista. A number of election watchers sought out Evangelista for a picture with her.

“Now I can lie down and will be able to sleep,” Escudero told reporters when asked how he was doing.

Legarda said she didn’t mind being No. 2 despite finishing at the top in her two previous senatorial runs, in 1998 and 2007.

“It feels like the first time, like in 1998. I have a grateful heart. I’m thankful I have been given another opportunity to serve. I was No. 1 in 1998, No. 1 in 2007; now, I’m No. 2,” she told reporters.

FIRST FIVE Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. talks to five winners of the senatorial race during their proclamation on Thursday night. The five are, from left, Juan Edgardo Angara, Alan Peter Cayetano, Loren Legarda, Grace Poe and Francis Escudero. Nancy Binay did not show up. JOAN BONDOC

Cayetano came late, arriving just as his name was called. His sister, Sen. Pia Cayetano, came ahead of him.

Binay was a no-show.

Her absence was not officially explained, although speculations were rife that her absence was in keeping with the electoral protest of UNA.

Stop proclamation

UNA on Thursday asked the Comelec to suspend the proclamation of winners, questioning the integrity of the results of the election.

With only three of its senatorial candidates winning the election, the opposition coalition alleged that a Smartmatic representative manipulated the tape archive file in the transparency server room at the headquarters of the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV).

UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco said the NBOC had canvassed only 25 percent of the votes which, he claimed, would be insufficient to determine the rightful winners at this stage of the count.

“If it’s only 25 percent so far, why proclaim at all?” Tiangco said at a news conference, claiming that he obtained the figure from a Comelec source.

But “more worrisome” for UNA, he said, was the alleged “manipulation by Smartmatic personnel of election data received by the transparency server.”

Not self-serving

Tiangco said the UNA motion was not self-serving because it would affect its candidates—Binay, JV Ejercito and Gringo Honasan—who were in the Top 12 as of Thursday.

But the Comelec, sitting as the NBOC, denied UNA’s motion and proceeded to proclaim the first six winners.

The proclamation went through after Malacañang, getting impatient about the slow count, weighed in and prodded the Comelec to proclaim the winning senatorial candidates “as soon as possible.”

The Comelec blamed the slowness of the canvassing on bad telecommunications signals in many parts of the country but glitches on the ballot scanners and corrupted compact flash (CF) cards were later pinpointed as causes of the delay.

In denying UNA’s motion, the NBOC said that contrary to the coalition’s claim, the maintenance procedure was “authorized” and was done by “authorized Smartmatic personnel to secure that the servers are properly functioning.”

“There is nothing abnormal, anomalous or irregular with the said procedure,” the NBOC said.

It added that even UNA’s witness, Gadburt Mercado admitted that “the deleted filed (sic) turned out to be a ‘Regional File’ which, as agreed upon by all the information technology consultants involved, was not really necessary to determine the actual number of votes cast.”

The NBOC emphasized that the bases of the canvass of national votes and the proclamation of the winning senatorial candidates are the provincial or city certificates of canvass (COCs) “and not the election returns, which are electronically transmitted straight from the PCOS machines to the Transparency and the Comelec central servers.”

The NBOC said that results transmitted in the transparency and Comelec central servers are unofficial, which it said UNA “seemingly confused” with the official results that would be based on the COCs generated “through a ladderized system of electronic transmission.”

The ladderized system involves the transmission of official results from the municipal or city board of canvassers to the provincial board of canvassers and, ultimately, the NBOC.

“The ladder through which official results are transmitted is separate and independent from those used by the transparency and the Comelec central servers, that, even in case of breach of the said servers, the integrity of the server of the official results remain secure,” the NBOC said.

No delay

The NBOC also said that there was no delay in the transmission of election results.

“The current rate of transmission to the NBOC is normal and regular, and even considerably faster than the 2010 elections, which took the 2010 NBOC two days to start the canvassing and five days to proclaim the first set of winners,” the NBOC said.

The NBOC also noted that UNA based its allegations on mere hearsay, “like newspaper accounts and unfounded suspicions, and the lack of knowledge of the system it attempts to discredit.”

The NBOC held a brief proceeding with the lawyers of UNA, the Liberal Party (LP) and counsel for individual senatorial candidates.

The LP and lawyers for Poe and reelectionists Escudero, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Cayetano opposed UNA’s motion.—With reports from Michael Lim Ubac and Christian V. Esguerra, PDI; and Tetch Torres-Tupas, INQUIRER.net

Originally posted: 6:43 pm | Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Comelec , Election Highlights , election video , Elections 2013 , Politics

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in road mishap


  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  • Sports

  • Caguioa blasts ‘no heart, soft’ Ginebra on Twitter
  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK
  • Marketplace