MANILA, Philippines – Camarines Sur 3rd District Representative Leni Robredo led the count of vice presidential votes during the first day of canvassing in Congress on Wednesday, May 25.
Robredo has 3,576,643 votes based on the partial, official tally by Congress sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC).
Her closest rival, Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr, has 3,281,151 votes.
Robredo’s lead over Marcos is 295,492 votes as of Wednesday evening.
In the presidential race, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte leads in the partial, official tally with 4,051,036 votes.
Among presidential bets, the second placer as of Wedneday evening is Senator Grace Poe, with 2,439,181 votes.
The NBOC based these figures on around 27% of certificates of canvass (COCs).
The NBOC has canvassed 45 out of 165 COCs as of 9:30 pm on Wednesday.
'This is a fast proceeding'
Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal, lawyer for presidential bet Vice President Jejomar Binay, hailed the quick pace of the canvassing proceedings at the NBOC.
"This is a very good development because this is a fast proceeding as compared to 2010," Larrazabal said on Wednesday night.
The former elections commissioner added in a tweet: "I think the proceedings here in the NBOC in Congress will be faster than in 2010. It should be done late this week or early next week."
The canvassing on Wednesday encountered a hitch, however. The NBOC deferred the canvassing of 3 COCs – from Laguna, Ilocos Sur, and Davao del Norte – due to several discrepancies.
The NBOC required provincial canvassers to report to them first before canvassing these COCs.
The canvassing in Congress is the final hurdle in a tight vice presidential race pitting Robredo and Marcos against each other.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Marcos camp moved to separately canvass votes for president and vice president. Marcos’ lawyer, Didagen Dilangalen, cited the "tightly and hotly contested" vice presidential race.
The heads of the joint canvassing committee refused to immediately entertain Dilangalen’s motion. – Rappler.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.