Duterte’s lead seen to widen further after canvassing last 53 COCs

Duterte’s lead seen to widen further after canvassing last 53 COCs

MANILA — The lead counsel of presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said the votes for the incoming chief executive will widen his lead for the last 53 Certificate of Canvass left.

Atty. Vitaliano Aguirre told reporters in a press conference that based on the latest partial official tally of Joint Congress sitting as National Board of Canvassers, Duterte is slowly pulling away with 15,140,495 votes against his closest rival Secretary Mar Roxas who only got 9,057,359 in the latest official tabulation.

Aguirre, who had earlier been appointed Justice Secretary by Duterte, are being assisted by Atty. Alberto Agra, Atty. Juanito Arcilla and Incoming Executive Secretary Atty. Salvador Medialdea as deputy lead counsels.

“Therefore, we expect the number of votes for each candidate to increase in today’s canvassing by more or less: Binay: 361,075 votes; Defensor-Santiago: 28,989 votes; Duterte: 1,335,810 votes; Poe: 305,915 votes; Roxas: 692,703 votes; and Señeres: 1,689 votes,” Aguirre said.

“We are glad that the canvassing of votes for president is proceeding smoothly. We wish to thank all those taking part in the canvassing and hope that this can be finished as soon as possible,” he added.

PDP Spokesperson and co-counsel in the canvassing, Atty. Paola Alvarez, also expressed the Duterte camp’s “profound gratitude to all those who helped in the campaign and voted for Mayor Duterte. Rest assured that he will fully abide by his promise of Tunay na Pagbabago or real change once he assumes office on June 30,” Alvarez said.

On Thursday, Senator Koko Pimentel, head of Senate panel said that NBOC, may proclaim the winners in the presidential and vice-presidential races on Monday or Tuesday.

Pimentel believes the final tally can be finished today (Friday), which then has to be transmitted to plenary with the committee report. The plenary will then issue a resolution of proclamation based on the report.

He said they are mandated to make a report to be submitted to the joint session. The joint session resumes its session and then issues a resolution. The resolution gets passed, it will be the cue for them to officially proclaimed the winners.

Pimentel, meanwhile, said he would ask Duterte to reconsider his plan to skip his proclamation.

“Pakiusapan po namin kung pwedeng mag-attend po siya ng kaniyang proclamation, but it’s not really necessary or mandatory,” Pimentel pointed out.

Duterte is not required to be present in the proclamation.

Meanwhile, Pimentel also dismissed the repeated observations over the undervotes in the presidential race.

“If you noticed undervotes, the concept of undervotes is always mentioned but the lawyers are not objecting to the inclusion. Hence, it is clearly a nonissue in the proceedings, even the lawyers know this, that’s why they are not objecting. It’s a nonissue in these proceedings,” Pimentel concluded.

With only 53 COCs left, the NBOC expect to finish the canvassing today (Friday). Sammy Martin/PNA/northboundasia.com