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MANILA, Philippines (5th UPDATE) - Election commissioners, sitting as the national board of canvassers (NBOC), proclaimed on Thursday evening, May 16, the 6 candidates whose victories, they said, were guaranteed even if 76% of vote certificates have yet to be canvassed.
Proclaimed – based on 72 certificates of canvass (COCs) out of 301 – were 3 neophytes and 3 re-electionists.
Commission on Elections (Comelec) chair Sixto Brillantes Jr explained that the 72 COCs were "sufficient to declare 50%" of winners. He said about 200 of all COCs, in the first place, come from overseas absentee voters, giving the impression that most, if not all, of the 72 COCs canvassed were from the provinces and cities.
The number of voters in the canvassed COCs so far, however, is 13.38 million. That's around 36.8% of the projected voter turnout of 36.4 million.
Based on the Comelec's call to push through with the proclamation, the Senate newcomers are former censors chief Grace Poe, assistant to the Vice President Nancy Binay, and former Aurora congressman Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, son of a senator. The re-electionists are Loren Legarda, Francis "Chiz" Escudero, and Alan Peter Cayetano.
Based on the NBOC's latest count, as of 5:09 pm of Thursday, the top 6 senators have so far garnered the following number of votes:
Grace Poe - 6,978,111
Loren Legarda - 6,405,625
Alan Cayetano - 5,989,369
Chiz Escudero - 5,944,573
Nancy Binay - 5,787,423
Sonny Angara - 5,593,601
As of 7:40 pm, when the ceremony began, Binay and Cayetano were not at the Philippine International Convention Center, where the proclamation was held. Cayetano arrived late, just when his name was mentioned.
Binay skipped the proclamation and sent her lawyer instead. Candidates are not required by law to attend their proclamation. (Read: Why Nancy Binay skipped her proclamation)
Brillantes said Binay was "technically" proclaimed as senator despite her absence. The basis for this was the certificate of proclamation that the Comelec commissioners signed, he added. (Watch more in the video below.)
Binay's decision was apparently based on her coalition's protest against an early proclamation when more than 11 million votes have yet to be transmitted from vote machines all over the country to the Comelec's server in Manila.
Proclamations, however, are made based on the official and manual review of COCs receipt from local boards of canvassers.
On Wednesday, May 15, UNA requested to suspend the proclamation but was denied by the poll body Thursday.
Team PNoy, on the other hand, expressed concern on the delayed transmission, saying it "could have an impact on the perception on what has so far been a smooth and orderly election."
Brillantes said the proclamation was arranged alphabetically and not according to the candidates' ranking in the race.
In the 2010 presidential elections, the board of canvassers proclaimed the first 9 winners (Ramon Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Franklin Drilon, Juan Ponce Enrile, Pia Cayetano, Ferdinand Marcos Jr, Ralph Recto, Vicente Sotto III) on May 15, 2010.
The last 3 (Serge Osmeña, Lito Lapid, Teofisto Guingona III) were proclaimed on May 18, 2010. - Paterno Esmaquel II and Michael Bueza/Rappler.com
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