Congress convenes to canvass President, VP votes
Gavels were banged as the House of Representatives and the Senate on Tuesday convened in a joint session to signal the start of the official canvassing of the presidential and vice presidential election results.
Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. slammed down the gavels around 4 p.m. for the start of the joint session, which was initially scheduled to start at 2 p.m.
Congress in the joint session is set to approve the rules for canvassing and then convene as the National Board of Canvassers.
After the rules are adopted, Congress will form the joint committee for canvassing composed of nine members from each chamber.
After the joint committee is convened, the Speaker and the Senate President will open the certificates of canvass (COC) and the accompanying statement of votes.
The joint committee will then canvass and consolidate the printed copies of the COC delivered to Congress.
After canvassing the COCs and tabulating the votes, the joint committee will prepare its report signed by the Speaker and the Senate President and submit it for approval by the members in the joint session, which will vote separately.
Both chambers will then approve the report of the joint committee and adopt the resolution of both houses that will declare the official results of the elections.
The Senate and the House of Representatives will have to approve the resolution of both houses by voting separately.
After adopting the resolution, Congress will then proclaim the President-elect and Vice President=elect.
In the country’s first automated elections in 2010, the canvassing of the results took only a week before winning President Benigno Aquino III and Vice President Jejomar Binay were proclaimed by Congress as winners of the top two highest positions in the land.
In the recently concluded 2016 elections, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of the Partido Demokratikong Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan is the presumptive President-elect, according to the unofficial count of the electronically transmitted votes.
Camarines Sur Rep. Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo’s victory as vice president is being questioned by her closest rival, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who trailed her by around 200,000 votes.
Under the 1987 Constitution, Congress in a joint session is tasked to canvass the votes certified by the board of canvassers of each city and province. RAM/rga
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