Comelec set to proclaim 58 party-list winnersBy Jerome C. Aning, Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is poised to proclaim the results in the party-list balloting.
Comelec Commissioner Grace Padaca told reporters that canvassing of votes had been practically completed and the poll body was expected to rule Thursday if it would proclaim the winners of 58 seats at stake in the contest in the House of Representatives.
Padaca said the Comelec was just waiting for the results from the remaining overseas absentee voting certificates of canvass, those from the local absentee voting and the 10 municipalities that have yet to report nine days after the elections because of “extraordinary circumstances.”
With 95 percent of the certificates of canvass (COCs) accounted for, the top 10 party-list groups are: Buhay (1,255,734 votes), A Teacher (1,033,873), Bayan Muna (945,639), 1 Care (931,303), Akbayan (820,351), Ako Bicol (761,115), Abono (753,161), OFW Family (735,854), Gabriela (706,194) and Senior Citizen (671,916).
Padaca said that for a party-list group to secure a seat, it should have 2 percent of the total votes cast in the May 13 elections.
“Our position is that we will be proclaiming the parties (who won) not the (number of) seats,” said Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr.
Romulo Macalintal, an election lawyer, on Wednesday warned the “tail-enders and hopefuls” in the party-list derby against syndicates allegedly offering to manipulate voting results.
“Do not fall victim to a scam now going on promising a manipulation of results to ensure a seat in the House of Representatives. Be reminded that these results cannot be manipulated and cannot be changed,” he said in a text message to the Inquirer.
“Do not believe claims of these syndicates that they ‘can find a way’ to transfer in your favor votes of party-list groups that received minimal votes. I suggest you report to the Comelec these ‘offers’ to manipulate results or entrap them for possible criminal prosecution,” Macalintal said.
Migrante, one of the groups lagging in the count, questioned the number of votes it got in the balloting, claiming it was a victim of massive vote-shaving and disenfranchisement.
The group described the low number of people who voted for it as “very improbable” and blamed the precinct count optical scan (PCOS) machines for the alleged irregularities.
Connie Bragas-Regalado, Migrante chairperson and first nominee, said the group had received calls from poll watchers and overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) here and abroad complaining that votes for Migrante were not counted and saying that the election returns generated by the PCOS machine showed the group had “zero votes.”
“Some of the OFWs were crying, they were incredulous,” Regalado recounted, complaining of “rampant” vote-shaving in Migrante “bulwarks” in Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon and Metro Manila.
She cited Biñan City, Laguna province, where she said Migrante had at least 2,500 card-bearing members who were all registered voters. However, the group got only over 100 votes in the city.
“It’s incredible, it’s unbelievable. After a few days of evaluating the turnout, we have come to the conclusion of this trend in our strongholds,” Regalado said.