Joint Canvass Committee to proclaim President-elect Duterte & VP-elect Robredo on Monday

MANILA — The projected proclamation of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and Vice President-elect Leni Robredo by the Joint Canvass Committee is on Monday afternoon, according to Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III.

“The projected proclamation would be afternoon of Monday. It’s good we ended on a Friday so our staff could have the weekend to finish the Joint Committee report,” said Pimentel, head of the Senate panel in the Joint Canvass Committee which acted as National Board of Canvassers (NBOC).

Duterte won the presidential race with 16,601,997 votes, while Robredo topped the vice presidential contest with 14,418,817 votes.

The NBOC terminated its canvassing Friday night after counting all 167 Certificates of Canvass (COCs).

“There being no other COCs for consideration by the joint committee, the canvassing of votes for the presidential and vice presidential candidates in the May 9, 2016 elections is hereby terminated,” declared separately by Pimentel and House Majority Leader and Mandaluyong City Rep. Neptali Gonzales II, head of the House panel.

Pimentel directed the Joint Committee Secretariat to prepare the joint panel report and present it by Monday for the signature of the members.

Pimentel thanked the members of the Senate panel namely, Senators Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, Sergio Osmeña III, Tito Sotto III and Juan Ponce Enrile for their patience and dedication. Likewise he thanked the lawyers of the candidates for being disciplined and cooperative.

“The canvassing went smoothly with the help of the candidates’ lawyers. We could not have done it by ourselves. The lawyers were all cooperative. So I also give credit to the candidates for having chosen very responsible lawyers to represent them,” said Pimentel.

He said if there is a candidate who plans to file an election protest, then she or he will have to gather all the information about undervotes and develop a theory, which would justify an election protest based on undervotes.

“Because for me personally, I cannot see, let’s say you discovered four million undervotes, how could that affect the results because the mandate of the canvassing is to count votes and not the non-votes or no votes,” said Pimentel.

He also agreed with the observation the three-day canvassing was the fastest in the country’s election history.

On the part of Gonzales, he thanked the House panel members namely Reps. Elpidio Barzaga, Jr. (4th District, Cavite), Federico “Miro” Quimbo (2nd District, Marikina City), Reynaldo Umali (2nd District, Oriental Mindoro), Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), Fredenil Castro (2nd District, Capiz) from the majority and Rep. Silvestre Bello III (Party-list, 1-BAP) from the minority.

He also thanked the alternate members: Reps. Oscar Rodriguez (3rd District, Pampanga); Ibarra Gutierrez III (Party-list, AKBAYAN); Rolando Andaya (1st District, Camarines Sur); and Minority Leader and San Juan City Lone District Rep. Ronaldo Zamora. PNA/