Comelec defers Bangsamoro vote canvassing again

Paterno Esmaquel II
Comelec defers Bangsamoro vote canvassing again


For the second day, the Commission on Elections in Intramuros, Manila, says it has not received any certificate of canvass from the Bangsamoro plebiscite

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Wednesday, January 23, again deferred the canvassing of votes in the Bangsamoro plebiscite because it has not received certificates of canvass (COCs) yet. 

This was the second day that the Comelec, sitting as the National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (NPBOC) at the poll body’s headquarters in Intramuros, Manila, deferred the canvassing of plebiscite results. 

“Please be informed that the National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers has not yet received any COCs and thus will convene tomorrow at 2 pm instead of 1 pm today,” said Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez in a Viber message to reporters around 11:20 am on Wednesday.

The NPBOC is composed of Comelec Chairman Sheriff Abas and the 6 commissioners of the poll body.

The Comelec was supposed to start canvassing votes on Tuesday, January 22, but deferred the canvassing to Wednesday because it had not received COCs yet.  

Abas said on Tuesday that the Comelec expects to finish canvassing in a week, but developments on Wednesday will likely complicate the process. 

Discrepancies have been spotted in the Bangsamoro plebiscite results in Cotabato City, prompting Cotabato City Mayor Cynthia Guiani Sayadi to plan a formal protest before the poll body. The Comelec said however that these discrepancies were due to “clerical errors.” –

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at