By Martin Sadongdong
Despite the continued dominance of candidates endorsed by President Duterte in the senatorial race, partylist groups which are critical of the administration are offering a good challenge — at least based on the partial and official tally of the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC).
Bayan Muna Partylist and Gabriela Women’s Party, both of which are vocal critics of the Duterte administration, were among the Top 10 in the partylist race, according to data released by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Tuesday night.
Bayan Muna Partylist garnered a total of 216,673 votes which landed them on the second spot, while Gabriela obtained 109,303 votes which got them at the ninth spot after the canvassing of 34 Certificates of Canvass (COCs) around 9 p.m.
It represents a little over 20 percent of the total COCs canvassed as Comelec spokesman James Jimenez bared Wednesday there are a total 167 COCs up for canvassing by the NBOC.
Bayan Muna Partylist extended its gratitude to the voting public who supported them even if the group also denounced the reported “irregularities” in the conduct of the midterm polls.
“As we demand accountability for the disenfranchisement of many, and amid reports of fraud and irregularity, we extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who had dared to defy the lies, threats and propaganda against us,” the Bayan Muna Partylist said in a Twitter post.
Meanwhile, Gabriela earlier called on the public to remain vigilant and alert against possible problems that may arise as the canvassing continues.
Others which were also in the Top 10 as of 9 p.m. Tuesday include ACT-CIS with 560,220 votes (Top 1); Ako Bicol with 174,268 votes (Top 3); 4. Probinsyano Ako with 154,554 votes (Top 4); Cibac with 146,751 votes (Top 5);
Ang Probinsyano with 116,275 votes (Top 6); 1Pacman with 112,348 votes (Top 7); Senior Citizens with 110,086 votes (Top 8); and Buhay with 105,454 votes (Top 10).
The Commission en banc, sitting as the NBOC, resumed the canvassing of votes on Wednesday.
The updated partial and official results are released at the end of every canvassing day.