MANILA — The camp of Vice Presidential candidate and Senator Ferdinand Marcos on Wednesday insisted that they will win in the official canvassing of votes.
George Garcia, head of Marcos’ legal team, said some votes for the senator were disenfranchised during the quick count.
Garcia has vowed to scrutinize every Certificate of Canvas (COC) for vice president when Congress sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) convenes to recover the alleged lost votes.
>On Tuesday, the Marcos camp tried but failed to seek a separate canvassing of the votes for president and vice president.
ABAKADA party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, who also served as Marcos’ campaign adviser, claimed there is a separate certificate of canvass (CoC) for president and vice president in the province of Pangasinan.
Dela Cruz also cited Section 10 of the canvassing rules, which said that the joint canvassing committee may tackle issues for the president and vice president positions separately.
House Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II, however, said the issue should be raised during the joint committee. He added that the general rule is there is only one COC.
To resolve the impasse, Gonzales insisted on a vote. House Speaker Sonny Belmonte called for a viva voce vote and the House approved the canvassing rules.
Atty. Romy Macalintal, counsel for Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo said in a press conference on Wednesday that the claim of Dela Cruz on separate COCs for president and vice president in Pangasinan is “premature”.
“Palagay ko masyadong premature iyung sinasabi ni Congressman Dela Cruz. We have not even seen the documents. The procedure is the Board of Canvassers will open the envelope purportedly containing the certificates of canvass. Upon opening, the entire documents that will be found in the envelope will be shown to the public and the lawyers for their comments or whatever manifestations they may want,” he explained.
“That’s the only time where all these matters could be raised. But at this juncture kung saan hindi pa man lang nagsisimula ang canvass at ganoon na agad ang sasabihin nila, that only shows that they want to delay the proceedings,” he added.
Senator Leila De Lima, also a counsel for Robredo, said there was no legitimate ground to defer the proclamation of the vice-presidential winner.
“We have seen the documents, we have seen the figures… We know there cannot be any legitimate ground to seek for any deferment of canvass, let alone deferment of the proclamation of VP Leni Robredo,” she said.
She explained that while Congress is duty-bound to ascertain the true and accurate results of the election, they are also mandated by law to “guard against unreasonable delay.”
This, she said, prohibits anyone from simply objecting to every COC being presented. “Hindi pwedeng basta-basta nilang sasabihin na we are going to object to all, to each and every COC being presented on any ground, on imagined, frivolous, baseless grounds.” Sammy Martin/PNA/northboundasia.com