MANILA, Philippines – Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. maintained that they have sufficient basis to proclaim the winning senatorial candidates Friday after three more were proclaimed.
“We are proclaiming on the basis of official results, we are using the grouped canvass reports … to project whether the [final results] will be affected or not [by the remaining untransmitted Certificates of canvass,]” Brillantes told reporters in an ambush interview.
“The grouped canvass report may be incorporated in the COC once its transmitted, so [it can be] automatically incorporated, the grouped canvass report is only a partial result,” he said.
Senators elect Benigno Aquino IV, Aquilino Pimentel III, and Antonio Trillanes IV were proclaimed Friday night. They ranked seventh, eighth, and ninth respectively.
The first six – Grace Poe, Loren Legarda, Alan Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Nancy Binay, and Juan Edgardo Angara -were proclaimed Thursday night.
The Comelec en banc, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), previously issued resolution 9701 instructing the provincial and city BOC’s who have not yet transmitted their canvassed results, to generate a “Grouped Canvass Result” for the senatorial candidates and to send it immediately to the NBOC “by facsimile.”
In a later resolution, the NBOC was allowed “to use the validated Grouped Canvass Reports submitted by the provincial and city BOCs as basis to determine the votes obtained by all the candidtes for senator.”
Comelec Resolution 9706 read that the move was made “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 COCs still to be received by the NBOC.”
“[The] grouped canvass report can take the place of COC as a partial results,” Brillantes said.
When asked if there was something wrong with proclaiming this early, he said it might actually be better and even cited the old manual elections where it would take weeks before a proclamation could be made.
“Walang masama, pero wala rin masama kung iadvance natin ang proclamation, baka mas maganda pa,” Brillantes said.
(There’s nothing wrong, nothing amiss if we advance the proclamation, which perhaps is best.)
“Yung manual dalawa o apat na linggo na, wala pa napoproclaim, wala nagrereklamo eh,” he said.
(In the manual system the count took two or four weeks and still there was no proclamation and we didn’t hear any complaint.)