Marcos camp loses bid for separate VP canvassing
THE camp of Sen. Bongbong Marcos attempted to move for a separate canvassing of the votes for president and vice president during the joint session of Congress on Tuesday.
Abakada Rep. Jonathan Dela Cruz, who also served as Marcos’ campaign adviser, sought a separate canvassing as he claimed that there is a separate certificate of canvass (CoC) for president and vice president in the province of Pangasinan.
He also cited Section 10 of the canvassing rules, which said that the issues of the president and vice president positions may be tackled separately by the joint canvassing committee.
The said section states that “The Joint Committee shall decide all questions and issues raised involving the COCs by a majority vote of its Members, each panel voting separately. In case the two panels disagree, the decision of the Chairpersons shall prevail. In case of a deadlock, the matter shall be resolved by the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives.”
But majority leader Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali Gonzales II said there is only one certificate of canvass for president and vice president.
Gonzales also recommended to Dela Cruz to raise the issue on the separate canvassing for president and vice president before the joint canvassing committee once it is convened.
Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. moved for the approval of the canvassing rules, ignoring Dela Cruz’s objections to clarify certain provisions of the rules for canvassing.
Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto III earlier wanted to amend the canvassing rules to allow the issues for the positions of president and vice president to be tackled separately, but Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano said the joint canvassing committee already allows this to be done.
Cayetano said tackling the issues for president and vice president separately is already in the “inherent powers (of the joint canvassing committee) to decide on the merits” of such objections.
Dela Cruz sought a separate canvassing for president and vice president as Marcos questioned the unofficial count of the results that showed Liberal Party’s Leni Robredo leading with over 200,000 votes.
READ: Bongbong renews ‘strong reservations’ in VP count in speech
Marcos’ camp wanted a separate canvassing for the vice president because there was allegedly massive vote buying. Marcos also cited the change in the computer command of the transparency server, which allegedly shaved his votes while increasing those for Robredo.
After the approval of canvassing rules, Drilon and Belmonte led the opening of the electronically transmitted certificates of canvass (CoC) and the opening of the ballot boxes for overseas and local absentee votes.
Congress initially set the opening of the joint session at 2 p.m. but it only opened around 4 p.m.
The session will be deemed suspended until Wednesday 2 p.m. for the official canvassing and tabulation of votes after it finishes opening the ballot boxes for the overseas and local absentee voting.
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