Congress hopes for faster canvassing for president, VP poll results
Outgoing Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II on Tuesday expressed hopes that the canvassing of the results for the president and vice president elections would be faster than the previous 2010 polls.
In a press conference, Gonzales, the majority leader in the House of Representatives, said he hoped the canvassing would be faster because of the electronically transmitted election results that would be canvassed along with the certificates of canvass and the election results to be manually canvassed.
“The process itself, we hope mas mabilis ngayon dahil nga tinitingnan natin yung (it’s faster now because we’re looking at) electronically transmitted (results), may mga (there were) absentee voting, may mga (there are those) electronically transmitted, pero kaunti lang ang (but it’s only few that were) electronically transmitted at absentee voting,” Gonzales said.
He said the vote counting machines of the overseas absentee voting which were not able to electronically transmit its results will have to be manually canvassed.
Gonzales said he would chair the joint-canvassing committee, and named the following representatives from the majority as members—Dasmariñas Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo, Cagayan De Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali and Capiz Rep. Fred Castro.
Gonzales named the following as alternative members of the joint canvassing committee—Pampanga Rep. Oscar Rodriguez and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya.
Members of the joint-canvassing committee from the minority are 1-Bap Rep. Silvestre Bello III and San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora.
For his part, Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, who will sit as the chairman for the Senate in the joint canvass committee, said Congress would sit as the National Board of Canvassing until the wee hours if it has to be able to finish the canvassing quickly.
“Hanggang sawa ito most likely, hanggang mapagod kami (until we’re tired),” Pimentel said in an ambush interview.
He said Congress is mandated by the Constitution to determine the official count for president and vice president “with dispatch so that you can finish to determine the true will of the people.”
“The general rule is once you start, you continue with dispatch… The spirit of the law is once you start, you continue until you finish your job,” Pimentel said.
He named the following senators as members from the majority in the joint canvassing committee—Sen. Sonny Angara, Ralph Recto, Serge Osmeña and TG Guingona.
Meanwhile, the following members from the minority are senators Juan Ponce Enrile and Tito Sotto.
The alternative members for the joint-canvassing committee are Sen. Bam Aquino, Cynthia Villar and whoever would be available, Pimentel said.
In the country’s first automated elections in 2010, the canvassing of the results took only a week before winning Pres. Benigno Aquino III and Vice Pres. Jejomar Binay were proclaimed by Congress to the top two highest positions of the land.
For the recently concluded 2016 elections, 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. Leni Robredo’s victory as vice president is being questioned by Sen. Bongbong Marcos, who trailed behind Robredo by a slim margin of around 200,000 votes.
Under the 1987 Constitution, Congress in a joint session is tasked to canvass the votes certified by the boards of canvassers of each city and province.
Congress will also proclaim the winning president and vice president. TVJ
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