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Duterte can be proclaimed earlier than VP—Sotto, solon

/ 07:58 PM May 24, 2016
Senator Vicente "Tito" Sotto III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte can be proclaimed ahead of whoever will win the vice presidency, Sen. Vicente Sotto III said on Tuesday.

“Kung wala namang ka-proble-problema, pwede nang i-proclaim ang isang posisyon, pwedeng ganoon. Kung sabay, pwedeng sabay. Kung hindi, pwedeng hindi (If there is no problem, we can proclaim a particular position). That is the interpretation that I gathered today,” Sotto told reporters in an ambush interview at the House of Representatives.

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“Oo, walang kwestiyon doon sa president (There is no question in the [presidential race]),” he said, when asked if the winning president can be proclaimed earlier than the vice president.

Sotto made the remark as Congress in a joint session approved the rules for canvassing of votes for the positions of president and vice president.

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Sotto earlier proposed to amend Section 10 of the canvassing rules, seeking that any issue in the certificates of canvass for president and vice president may be decided separately. But Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said tackling this issue was already in the “inherent powers” of the joint canvassing committee.

“Ang ayaw natin magkaroon ng vacuum. We will abhor vacuum. Hindi naman namin i-e-entertain kung puro objection lang na wala namang dahilan, ebidensya, o kadahilanang mabigat para i-consider ng committee. Hindi naman pwedeng puro objection lang,” Sotto said.

(What we don’t like is to create a vacuum. We won’t entertain if it’s all objections without reason, evidence or a big reason to be considered by the committee. We can’t allow if it’s pure objection.)

Abakada Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz said Duterte can be proclaimed as early as Wednesday, the official start of tallying of votes for president and vice president.

“In the case of the president, since the canvass is no longer necessary, because all of the rivals of President-elect Duterte have conceded, perhaps tomorrow he can already be proclaimed. There is no need for us even to go through the COCs for president because all the other candidates have conceded to Duterte,” Dela Cruz told the media.

“Probably by tomorrow, after tallying all of the votes, I think that should be the case…Tomorrow, since there is no contest anymore in the case of the president, he can be proclaimed already,” he said.

But Dela Cruz, who served as campaign adviser of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., said the proclamation for vice president may took a little longer due to “a number of issues” that have to be looked into.

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Dela Cruz moved to seek clarification on certain provisions of the canvassing rules, but House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and Senate President Franklin Drilon snubbed his motions and moved for the approcal of canvassing rules by voice voting.

Marcos’ camp alleged that massive vote-buying and the change in script in the transparency server increased the votes for administration candidate Leni Robredo. In a privilege speech at the Senate, the son and namesake of the late dictator asked for more time in the vice presidential canvassing amid unproven claims of electoral fraud.TVJ

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TAGS: Abakada Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz, Alan Peter Cayetano, duterte, Duterte Administration, House of Representatives, Rodrigo Duterte, Sen. Vicente Sotto III, Tito Sotto
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