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Senate receives nearly three-fourths of COCs, ERs

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
Senate receives nearly three-fourths of COCs, ERs
As of yesterday morning, the Senate has received 128 COCs or 73.99 percent of the total 173 COCs expected to be transmitted to the upper chamber.
STAR / Boy Santos, file

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate has so far received nearly three-fourths of the certificates of canvass (COCs) and election returns (ERs) on its seventh day of receiving poll documents, in preparation for its canvassing of votes for president and vice president in joint session with the House of Representatives starting May 24.

As of yesterday morning, the Senate has received 128 COCs or 73.99 percent of the total 173 COCs expected to be transmitted to the upper chamber.

The COCs, contained in ballot boxes, are to be sent to the House before the two chambers convene in joint session next week.

Transmitted to the Senate were COCs from Quezon province, Isabela, Mountain Province, Lapu-Lapu City, Davao del Norte, General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato.

Likewise, the chamber accepted Overseas Absentee Voting COCs from India, Lebanon and Italy.

On Sunday, election officers handed over to the Senate COCs from Romblon, Pampanga, Samar, Davao Occidental, Zamboanga Sibugay, Camarines Sur, Northern Samar, Cebu City, Zamboanga del Norte, Negros Oriental, Davao del Sur, Davao de Oro, Davao Oriental, Maguindanao, Misamis Occidental, Bulacan, Basilan, South Cotabato, Iloilo, Caloocan City and Palawan.

The Senate has also received COCs from votes cast by Persons Deprived of Liberty.

Likewise, the chamber accepted COCs from Taiwan, Qatar, Bahrain, Singapore, London, Thailand and Canada.

The two chambers of Congress are expected to convene in joint session on May 24 to canvass the votes for the 2022 presidential and vice presidential elections.

Comelec completes canvassing

Meanwhile, at the end of the seventh day of canvassing, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) completed canvassing 172 out of the 173 COCs.

All that remains to be canvassed is the COC from Lanao del Sur where a special election would be held in 12 barangays in Tubaran municipality on May 24.

As for the two other barangays in Lanao del Sur where there was also a failure of elections – Ragayan in Butig municipality and Pindolonan in Binidayan – a date has yet to be set for their special elections.

Comelec acting spokesman John Rex Laudiangco said out of 685,643 registered voters for the entire province of Lanao del Sur, there are only 6,921 registered voters in the 12 barangays where a special election will be held.

“In Tubaran, we don’t need to bring any ballots. All the ballots are intact. We don’t need to send additional machines; the machines are intact. The operational plan as proposed by the deputy executive director for operations has been approved and it has been duly cascaded to our security partners as well as the Department of Education,” said Laudiangco.

The Comelec en banc, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), yesterday canvassed 13 additional COCs that included Hong Kong.

The NBOC directed the Special Board of Canvassers (SBOC) in Hong Kong to already generate the COC without Shanghai.

“To provide instructions to the SBOC at Hong Kong Philippine consulate general (PCG), that in lieu of the Canvass Report, they are directed instead to manually encode the election results for Shanghai PCG as zero (0) to enable electronic transmission of its election results from SBOC Hong Kong PCG to NBOC. This resolution shall be without prejudice to future decisions on the status of overseas voting in Shanghai PCG,” the NBOC added.

No elections have been conducted in Shanghai because of the COVID-19 lockdown.

The Hong Kong COC covers Hong Kong, Macau and mainland China. There are 113,399 registered voters covered by the Hong Kong COC, of which 1,991 are registered voters in Shanghai.

As of its Report No. 5 from last Saturday’s tally but released only yesterday, actor Robin Padilla still topped the senatorial votes at 26,491,176; Antique Rep. Loren Legarda received 24,180,823 votes; broadcaster Raffy Tulfo with 23,342,613 votes; reelectionist Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian with 20,545,327 votes; Sorsogon Gov. Francis Escudero received 20,239,033 votes; former public works secretary Mark Villar received 19,400,167 votes; Taguig-Pateros Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano received 19,260,370 votes; reelectionist Sen. Miguel Zubiri received 18,661,089 votes; reelectionist Sen. Joel Villanueva 18,438,664 votes and former senator Jose Victor Ejercito 15,801,915 votes.

Reelectionist Sen. Risa Hontiveros received 15,384,530 votes; former senator Jinggoy Estrada landed in 12th place with 15,069,329 votes; former vice president Jejomar Binay received 13,243,613 votes; former Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista with 13,046,931 votes and former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro with 12,751,235 votes. – Evelyn Macairan

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