MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is ready to welcome President Rodrigo R. Duterte if he decides to attend the proclamation of the 12 new senators, mostly administration bets, in case it would push through on Tuesday.
In a press briefing on Monday, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said it is not yet certain if Duterte would be present at the proclamation but noted that they are preparing for such event.
“We don’t know for sure. But because he did come for the filing of the COC (Certificate of Candidacy), that is something we are preparing for as well. So naghahanda tayo (we are making preparations), which means we are not just preparing for his arrival, security-wise, but we are also preparing a space for him and his entourage on the floor for him tomorrow,” Jimenez said.
On October 15 last year, the President accompanied his former assistant, Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, in filing his COC for senator at the Comelec main office in Intramuros, Manila.
The proclamation of the winning senatorial bets is scheduled to be held on Tuesday afternoon, while the winning party-list groups would be named in the morning.
“Party-list in the morning, then senators in the evening. So it is (a) one-day proclamation except may mahaba-habang (that there is quite a lengthy) intermission in between. The intermission is really for the purpose of preparing the venue,” he said.
“For party-list kasi, iba ‘yung requirements ng venue. Iba din ‘yung requirements for senators (The proclamation of the party-lists requires a certain venue. The same with the senators),” the Comelec official added.
With only five Certificates of Canvass (COC) being awaited by the Comelec, including the one from Isabela province, Jimenez is certain that there would be a proclamation on Tuesday.
“Again with 1,050,681 votes from Isabela expected tonight, I think at this point it is a pretty sure bet that there would be a proclamation tomorrow,” he added.
Aside from the COCs from Isabela, the Comelec, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), is only waiting for the COCs from Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Washington DC, and Nigeria.
As of Sunday evening, the NBOC has already canvassed 162 out of the 167 COCs. Ferdinand Patinio / PNA – northboundasia.com