Missing COCs put off Congress’ canvassing of votes from Pampanga, Sultan Kudarat
Updated @ 5:58 a.m., May 25, 2022
MANILA, Philippines — Congress, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), on Tuesday night delayed the canvassing of votes for president and vice president from Pampanga and Sultan Kudarat as the certificates of canvass (COCs) are missing.
The COCs from Pampanga were not found in the ballot boxes that were transmitted to the Senate, said Negros Occidental 4th District Rep. Juliet Marie De Leon Ferrer.
“The COCs of Pampanga for President and Vice President is missing,” Ferrer said during the proceedings.
With this, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez moved to direct the secretariat to contact the provincial election supervisor of Pampanga province to locate the missing COCs.
“May we direct our secretariat to contact the election officer in charge the prov elec superviosor of Pampanga so that we can determine the whereabouts and the condition of the COCs of Pampanga?” he said.
This is the second province found to have missing COCs, which resulted in the deferment of vote canvassing. Earlier, Congress’ canvassing of votes for president and vice president from Surigao del Sur were suspended due to the same reason – missing COCs.
Ako-Bicol party-list Rep. Alfredo Garbin Jr. later on said that the COCs from Sultan Kudarat were also missing.
“The COCs, which were supposed to be physically delivered here in Congress for Sultan Kudarat is not here,” he said during the proceedings.
This makes it the third province with deferred vote canvassing due to missing COCs.
Hours later, it was found out that the COCs were left behind in the respective provinces and were still in the possession of the provincial election supervisors — April Melchor Miguel of Sultan Kudarat and Rommel Rama of Pampanga.
For Congress to proceed with the canvassing, they required the supervisors — who were present during the proceedings via Zoom — to present the original copy of the COC, authenticate it, under oath, and send electronic copies via Viber.
The supervisors are likewise directed to deliver the original copy of the COC to the NBOC on Wednesday morning.
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