MANILA, Philippines – The first day of the canvassing for the partylist groups was suspended Monday after 110 certificates of canvass (COCs) were canvassed by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC).
As of 5:20 p.m., 110 COCs, equivalent to 39,994,751 votes, were canvassed by the NBOC. Only five of the 110 COCs were from Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV).
The canvassing of the partylist groups was suspended last week after several issues were raised regarding the inclusion of 12 disqualified groups.
Bayan Muna representative Neri Colmenares made a motion before the NBOC to consider the votes for the disqualified groups as stray votes.
Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. however maintained that their votes will be still be counted because the disqualified groups might be granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) if they choose to appeal to the Supreme Court (SC).
If they will no longer appeal their disqualification, their votes will be discarded from the canvassing, Brillantes said.
“That’s why we’re taking their positions now. During the hearing this morning we asked them to submit their current position whether they would go to the SC or whether they have gone up to the SC already,” Brillantes said.
“If they don’t plan to go up to the SC then we can remove them already,” he said.
The disqualified groups are: A-Ipra, Abang Lingkod, Anad, Ang Galing Pinoy, Atong Paglaum, Senior Citizens, Smart, 1st Kabagis, Bantay, Cocofed, and Binhi.
The top five party lists with the most votes as of Monday’s partial canvass were:
-Buhay Hayaan Yumabong with 1,255,734;
-Advocacy for Teachers Empowerment Through Action Cooperation and Harmony Towards Educational Reforms with 1,033,873;
-Bayan Muna with 945,639;
-1st Consumers Alliance for Rural Energy Inc. with 931,303; and
-Akbayan Citizens Action Party with 820,351
Brillantes said in a press briefing that they will likely be able to proclaim the winning partylist groups within 10 days.