By Hanah Tabios, Minka Klaudia Tiangco, Argyull Geducos, and Jel Santos
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said yesterday the proclamation of winning national candidates and party-list groups could be held this week.
Comelec Assistant Director Frances Arabe said the proclamation of the winning senators and party-list groups could be held sometime this week as the body is still waiting for the Certificates of Canvass (COCs) from Isabela and Zamboanga del Sur.
The poll body, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), said Isabela and Zamboanga del Sur figured in the burning of Vote Counting Machines (VCMs) and ballot boxes on Monday’s midterm polls. In Jones, Isabela, special elections will be held today.
Arabe also said the commission is still waiting for four COCs from Japan, Washington D.C., Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria.
Arabe hinted that a partial proclamation of the winners is possible. “It depends. Kung kayang mag-partial, mag-papartial muna kami.”
She said the six senators leading in the senatorial race who remained unshaken can now be considered as sure winners.
As of 8 p.m., on Sunday, Cynthia Villar (NP) and Grace Poe (IND) are still leading in Comelec’s partial and official count, followed by Bong Go (PDP-LABAN); Pia Cayetano (NP); Bato Dela Rosa (PDP-LABAN); and Edgardo Sonny Angara (LDP).
PPCRV findings out today
The Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has received almost 50 percent of the election returns at its command center at Pope Pius XII Catholic Center in Manila and is expected to release its findings on the transparency server logs today.
The PPCRV inspected the logs provided by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to determine the cause of the glitch which led to the seven-hour delay of the release of election results on Monday.
PPCRV Executive Director Maribel Buenaobra said 39,776 or about 46 percent of the 87,540 election returns are now with the poll watchdog group.
The election returns that arrived midnight Saturday came from Albay in Bicol, Negros Occidental, and Cebu.
The PPCRV receives the fourth copy of the election returns which it uses for the parallel count.
Every day, 300 volunteers manually encode the data on the physical election returns and match it with the electronically transmitted returns to ensure that there are no discrepancies between the two sets of data.
Buenaobra said it could take the PPCRV up to a month to finish the election return validation.
PPCRV National Chairperson Myla Villanueva earlier said the election return validation would prove that there was no vote padding or shaving during the elections, making it relevant to the public even after the proclamation of the winning candidates.
Villanueva said they are currently at a 99.98 percent match rate, with only two discrepancies, which are typos by human encoders, being found.
Time to heal
Communications Secretary Martin Andanar urged the public to now move past the elections and start the period of healing and work together to solve the problems of the country.
In his program aired over state-run Radyo Pilipinas, Andanar said people should stop resorting to shaming those who voted for the administration’s senatorial candidates.
“Tama na iyong pang-iinsulto natin sa ating kapwa (The insults should stop now). It’s time to move forward,” he said.
“It’s time to really heal at ayusin ang mga problema ng bansa natin, ituloy iyong mga pagbabagong nagawa ni Presidente Duterte (and fix the problems of the country, and continue the reforms of the President),” he added.
Andanar also addressed those who are criticizing senatorial candidate Ronald dela Rosa for admitting that he knows nothing about being a senator.
“Ba’t mo iinsultuhin iyong tao eh (Philippine Military Academy) PMA graduate ‘yan eh. In the first place, hindi ka papasa sa PMA kung hindi ka matalino (Why would you insult the man when he graduated from PNP. You’ll never graduate from PNP if you’re not smart),” Andanar said.
“Kung wala kang grit, hindi ka tatagal sa PMA (If you do not have grit, you will not last in the PMA),” he added.
Andanar said that voters may have been insulted by the opposition’s supposed dirty tactics against the President so they voted for his candidates instead.
Comelec responsible for poll problems – VP
Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday said the Comelec should be held responsible for the problems encountered in mid-term elections, saying the problems experienced by voters were unacceptable.
Many vote counting machines (VCMs) and SD cards malfunctioned during Election Day. Even former Vice President Jojo Binay experienced difficulty voting as the VCM at his designated precinct was bogged down.
She also noted that it was not the first time that the automated voting was done in the country, stressing the problems in the past should have no longer happened last May 13.
“Dapat sana, pabawas nang pabawas ang problema pero kapag tiningnan natin ang statistics ay mas dumami ang problema ngayon. Halimbawa ‘yung mga nasirang VCMs parang noong nakaraang eleksyon yata ay 200 plus lang eh ngayon 900 plus ang nasira. Imbes nang paunti, padami nang padami. ‘Yung SD cards naman na nasira nasa 1, 600 plus (The problems, instead of diminishing, escalated based on statistics. For example, the VCMs that malfunctioned last elections were only 200 plus, this recent elections there were 900 plus. Than the problems getting lower, they increased. There are more than 1,600 SD cards that failed),” Robredo said over her radio program at RMN-DZXL 558KHZ.
A Senate inquiry is scheduled on June 3 to look into the glitches during the recently concluded polls.