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COUNTING VOTES FOR PRESIDENT AND VICE PRESIDENT

Congress defers canvassing of votes from Surigao del Sur due to missing COCs

By: - Reporter / @DYGalvezINQ
/ 08:00 PM May 24, 2022
Congress defers canvassing of votes from Surigao del Sur due to missing COCs

FILE PHOTO: The plenary hall of the Batasang Pambansa. Screenshot from RTVM Youtube Live

MANILA, Philippines — The two chambers of Congress, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), on Tuesday night suspended the canvassing of votes for president and vice president from Surigao del Sur due to missing certificates of canvass (COCs).

During the proceedings, Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri said the COCs from Surigao del Sur that were supposedly inside the ballot boxes transmitted to the Senate were missing. He also said that what Congress has is just the electronically transferred COCs.

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Congress then directed the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to explain “within the hour” the case of missing COCs.

“What you’re saying is we have the electronically transferred COCs but the manually transported COCs to the Senate, when the boxes were opened, do not contain the COCs for president and vice president for canvass for the province of Surigao del Sur,” Zubiri said.

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“Therefore, the proper procedure is to defer the canvassing of that province and we will ask the Comelec to answer within the hour the reason why the COC for the province of Surigao del Sur are not contained within this ballot boxes,” he added.

Congress eventually decided to suspend the canvassing of voters for Surigao del Sur to “hasten the proceedings.”

Zubiri then moved to open the boxes containing the election returns for Surigao del Sur to check whether the missing COCs were mistakenly placed there.

For its part, the Comelec said they have already directed the regional director of Caraga to notify the provincial board of canvassers (PBOC) of Surigao del Sur about the matter.

“That should be answered by the PBOC. Sila ang nag-deliver sa (They were the one who delivered it to the) Senate,” Comelec Commissioner George Garcia told reporters in a text message.

“We already informed the Regional Election Director of Caraga to notify the Provincial Board of Canvassers of Surigao del Sur,” Comelec spokesperson Rex Laudiangco also said in the same message thread.

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TAGS: #VotePH2022, Congress, election 2022, missing COCs, Surigao del Sur, vote count
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