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Misplacing COCs not an election offense but warrants investigation — Comelec

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Misplacing COCs not an election offense but warrants investigation â Comelec
PPCRV volunteers count votes in the partial unofficial tally in the Quadricentennial Pavillion, UST, May 11. Bongbong Marcos Jr. leads the polls.
Philstar.com / Jazmin Tabuena

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections clarified that a missing certificate of canvass, which delayed the processing of votes for the country’s top two positions, will not equate to an election offense for election officers responsible for the area.

"Hindi naman siya ma-qualify (It does not qualify) as an election offense kasi it’s only part of the procedure that you will submit it and then we can correct it naman," Comelec Commissioner Marlon Casquejo said in a press briefing on Wednesday.

Both congressional chambers, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, opened ballot boxes beginning last night to process votes for the presidential and vice-presidential positions.

However, the joint session saw missing COCs from several cities and provinces, such as Manila, Taguig, Sulu, and Mandaluyong City.

The poll body said it was easily able to provide another COC since there are 14 printed before the digital transmission. But the Comelec said it will still investigate what happened, adding that electoral boards experiencing fatigue is not an excuse.

“As to siguro may some mistake administrative, whether it’s unintentional or whether it’s inadvertently so titgnan namin and then may mga kopya naman kami kung sinu-sino yun and then we can investigate further with regards to how, bakit nangyari not including those COCs,” Casquejo said. 

(As to if some of the mistakes were administrative, whether it’s unintentional or whether it was done inadvertently, we will look into it and we have a copy showing who is responsible for those certificates and then we can investigate further with regard to how those COCs were not included, why it happened.) — with reports from Xave Gregorio

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