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VEEP RACE
Binay up by .8-M votes but LP says Roxas ahead

By Tarra Quismundo, Philip Tubeza, Niña Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 02:35:00 05/18/2010

Filed Under: Inquirer Politics, Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Jejomar Binay, Mar Roxas

MANILA, Philippines?While the Liberal Party (LP) claims that its vice presidential candidate has obtained more votes than his closest rival, the parallel count by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) still places Makati Mayor Jejomar ?Jojo? Binay ahead.
Binay of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino (PMP) was ahead by more than 800,000 votes over Sen. Manuel ?Mar? Roxas II of the LP in the PPCRV tally as of 2:53 p.m. Monday. The PPCRV is an accredited election citizens? arm.

The tabulation was based on results from 90.19 percent of the total 76,745 polling precincts nationwide.

Binay got some 13,491,689 votes (40.79 percent), giving him a lead of 812,143 votes over Roxas, who received 12,679,546 votes (38.33 percent).

In the presidential race, LP standard-bearer Benigno Aquino III was still ahead with 13,841,382 votes, maintaining a lead of more than 5 million votes over Joseph Estrada of the PMP. The deposed President got 8,758,424 votes.

Monday?s tally was an increase of 0.03 percent from the weekend update that accounted for results from 90.16 percent of precincts across the country.

The updated tally retained the rankings of candidates in the presidential, vice presidential and senatorial races, which have not changed over the past several days.

Results continued to arrive in trickles at the PPCRV command center, which receives both electronic results and printed copies of election returns.

The council decided Monday to extend its operations up to Wednesday.

Officials earlier announced that command center operations would shut down on Tuesday evening and that the parallel count would continue in a smaller room.

In an update past 7 Monday night, the PPCRV said that 7,496 precincts or 9.8 percent of the total had yet to transmit tallies.

The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has not electronically transmitted results from 823 precincts or 24.3 percent of its 3,379 precincts.

Roxas? known bailiwicks in Central Visayas have yet to transmit results from 949 of the region?s 5,561 precincts. Results from 511 precincts in vote-rich Cebu also have not been consolidated in the PPCRV count.

Very tight race

The vice presidential race is so close that no one can really tell who won, according to LP officials.

?(T)he race is really very tight and no one can say who the winner or the loser is in the vice presidential race,? LP campaign manager Florencio Abad said Monday.

The LP, nevertheless, claimed that Roxas was leading Binay by 137,000 votes based on 88 of the 108 official certificates of canvass (CoCs) that Congress will use to declare the winner.

Abad said the 88 CoCs that the LP obtained as the dominant minority party showed that Roxas received 11,890,802 votes while Binay got 11,753,398 votes.

?With these 88 CoCs, our figures show that Sen. Mar Roxas is leading by 137,404 votes. These (CoCs) represent 81 percent of the 108 CoCs from the provinces and highly urbanized cities,? Abad said at a press conference at the Balay Aquino-Roxas in Cubao, Quezon City.

The count excludes the results from the overseas absentee voting, which Roxas was leading; local absentee voting, and those from the ARMM, and most of the Cordillera Administrative Region, according to Abad.

?At this point, we do not wish to claim victory. We know there is a process that we have to go through: The national board of canvassers which is going to convene on May 24,? Abad said.

He said that the count was far from over because the PPCRV itself said that 10 percent of elections returns, representing 3.8 million votes, had yet to be counted.

?Until the national board of canvassers has finished its count, much as we want, nobody can say that they?ve won,? Abad said.

Be transparent

Binay asked the camp of Roxas to be more transparent and to stick to official documents to avoid confusing the public.

?Rather than basing on speculations, let us base our statements on factual information, on official documents, so that there will be no confusion among the people,? Binay said at a press conference.

He was reacting to claims of former Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz of the LP that Roxas would win by some 200,000 votes based on the CoC the party got.

?Copies of COCs are provided to the Comelec (Commission on Elections), PPCRV, the KBP, the dominant majority party and the dominant minority party. If a group claims to have a copy of the CoCs then it should have the same numbers as that of the documents of the other groups,? Binay said.

He said that from the start his camp had relied on data provided by the PPCRV, Comelec and KBP showing him leading Roxas by about 800,000 votes.

Sleeping well

Binay said he had been sleeping well the past few days.

?(I feel) certainly great. I am proud to be the first black vice president of the Republic of the Philippines,? he said.

Binay said he didn?t have the word ?defeat? in his vocabulary. ?I won on the basis of the reports coming from the Comelec and PPCRV and what was continuously reported on Day One up to the present.?

Show CoCs

JV Bautista, a losing PMP senatorial candidate and now Binay?s spokesperson, said the LP should show the CoCs it claimed to have and back its claims with actual figures.

?Can they not summarize the figures and tell us where they intend to overtake Binay? But more importantly, they must answer where they got their CoCs in the first place,? Bautista said.

Abad denied accusations from the Binay camp that the LP was misleading the public, saying that its numbers were based on official CoCs.

?We want to emphasize that this lead of 137,404 votes came from official documents given to us by the (Comelec) after we were declared the dominant minority party,? Abad said.

Ready to present CoCs

Abad said the LP was ready to present the CoCs to the public but it was not prepared to do so Monday.

In Bacolod City, Senator-elect Franklin Drilon on Sunday said he welcomed the early canvassing of the votes for the presidential and vice presidential races by Congress, saying it would serve everybody?s interest.

?There is so much speculation and mind conditioning coming from the camp of Binay,? Drilon said.

The congressional canvas has been moved up from May 31 to May 24. With a report by Carla P. Gomez, Inquirer Visayas



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