Separate proclamation for President, VP illegal–Robredo lawyer
The camp of leading vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo on Friday said a separate proclamation for President and Vice President is illegal and against the 1987 Constitution.
In a statement, lawyer Romulo Macalintal said the request of contender Sen. Bongbong Marcos for a separate proclamation was “not legally feasible” because the 1987 Constitution specifically states that Congress should canvass the results of the presidential and vice presidential elections.
Macalintal added that the joint committee of Congress sitting as the national board of canvassers (NBOC) was tasked to canvass the votes only for purposes of recording the election results and submitting the canvass report to Congress for its approval.
Macalintal said the joint committee had no power to declare a separate proclamation for President and Vice President.
He added that there could not be a separate proclamation because there was only one certificate of canvass for both President and Vice President.
“In other words, there will be no separate proclamation of the elected President and Vice President in the 2016 elections. To do so would not only be illegal but impractical because Congress would have to hold two joint public sessions to make such separate proclamations,” Macalintal said.
“The rules of Congress on canvass proceedings do not also provide for any separate proclamations because the votes of the President and the Vice President are contained in just one document or one certificate of canvass which was generated by or emanated from only one electronic machine,” he added.
Marcos’ camp has called for an early proclamation for presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte as the senator questioned the results of the vice presidential race, the unofficial count of which showing Robredo leading him by at least 200,000 votes.
His camp has also claimed that there were 3.3 million undervotes, which was “unusually high” and a cause for concern in the hotly contested vice presidential race.
As of 5:44 p.m. in the canvassed official count, Robredo has garnered 14,299,249 votes, a difference of 231,613 votes from Marcos’ 14,067,636 votes./rga