Comelec to use canvass reports to speed up Senate race count

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MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), issued a resolution Friday allowing it to use the “Grouped Canvass Reports” to speed up its count and as basis for proclaiming winners along with the official transmitted certificates of canvass.

According to Comelec Resolution No 9706, the NBOC can “use the validated “Grouped Canvass Reports” submitted by the provincial and city boards of canvassers as basis to determine the votes obtained by all the candidates for senator.”

The resolution said the move was made also “to ascertain whether or not standing of the candidates who may be initially proclaimed as duly elected senators will be affected by the remaining Provincial and City Certificates of Canvass (COC) still to be received by the NBOC.”

The top six senatorial candidates – Grace Poe, Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero, Alan Cayetano, Nancy Binay and Juan Edgardo Angara – were proclaimed Thursday evening even though the NBOC had received only 72 out of 304 COCs.

The NBOC, in a previous resolution, had allowed the lower level BOCs to generate and print “Grouped Canvass Reports” for the senatorial candidates if they have not yet transmitted their COCs to the NBOC.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. had said that a major cause for the delay of transmissions from the lower level BOCs to the NBOC was incomplete data on their level.

Under the automated elections system, the official results have to go through a ladderized system. Election returns from the precinct level will be transmitted to the municipal BOC to be canvassed and, once completed, will then be transmitted to the city or provincial BOC.

Brillantes had said that close races in certain cities and provinces were delaying the transmission of COCs to the NBOC despite a previous Comelec Resolution allowing local candidates to be proclaimed even if all results have not yet come in as long as the remaining uncounted votes will no longer affect the final result.

The NBOC states that the final COCs that will be transmitted to it from the lower level BOCS “will include the votes reflected in the Grouped Canvass Reports and the votes of the remaining precincts and municipalities that are yet to be transmitted.”

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