MANILA, Philippines — One of the six seats for senators-elect remained empty throughout the proclamation of the first half of the winners of the senatorial race but Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said that Nancy Binay has been proclaimed senator despite her absence.
“As far as we are concerned, Nancy Binay has been proclaimed senator,” he told reporters in a chance interview after the proclamation of the first six senators in the Magic 12.
He said that all of the commissioners have signed Binay’s certificate of proclamation which is now with her lawyer.
“In 2010, Senator Serge Osmena did not appear during the proclamation (ceremony). I was his lawyer and I went to Comelec and got his certificate of proclamation–that is the evidence of your proclamation,” he said.
Brillantes said he was not informed of the reason for Binay’s absence but added that they did send her an invitation.
“We did send her an invitation and she did send word through her lawyer that she would not be here,” said the Comelec chief.
Binay, daughter of the Vice President, maintained her fifth spot in the Magic 12.
She was proclaimed by the Comelec en banc sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) along with newly proclaimed senators Grace Poe, Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, and Juan Edgardo Angara.
Brillantes said he did not know if Binay’s absence during the ceremony could have been caused by the Comelec’s rejection of the United Nationalist Alliance’s (UNA) motion to suspend the proclamation of winners of the midterm elections.