Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (C) raises the hands of senatorial candidates during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas Bayan (PDP-LABAN) in Manila on May 11, 2019 ahead of the mid-term elections on May 13.
AFP/Noel Celis
Comelec preparing in case Duterte attends proclamation
Rosette Adel ( - May 20, 2019 - 7:45pm

MANILA, Philippines— The Commission on Elections said it is ready in case President Rodrigo Duterte attends the proclamation of winning candidates in the senatorial and party-list races.

“We're not just preparing for his arrival security-wise but we are also preparing space for him and his entourage on the floor tomorrow,” Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said.

Jimenez said the poll body is eyeing holding the proclamation on Tuesday, May 21 since the National Board of Canvassers will tabulate only five remaining certificates of canvass.

He said the president has not confirmed attendance yet but there is a possibility that Duterte will be there.

In October 2018, Duterte and several officials from Malacañang made a surprise appearance at the Comelec main office in Manila when former presidential aide Christopher Go filed his certificate of candidacy for senator.

READ: Comelec: 'Adjustments' made for Go's special supporters

The Duterte administration supported Go’s senatorial bid.

The appearance of Duterte and his entourage at the filing of Go's certificate of candidacy sparked questions on special treatment since other candidates were only allowed four companions.

The Comelec, however, defended the move to let the supporters of Go in because they had to maintain order and prioritize the president’s security.

Aside from Go, eight other candidates who ran under administration-backed Hugpong ng Pagbabago also lead the partial and unofficial tally of the senatorial race. Duterte endorsed these candidates during the campaign period.

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