Comelec hopes to proclaim winning Senators, party-list groups on Tuesday
Robie de Guzman • May 20, 2019 • 1333
MANILA, Philippines – Winning senatorial bets and party-list organizations in the 2019 midterm elections may likely be proclaimed on Tuesday (May 21), the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said on Monday.
Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jimenez said the poll body, which sits as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), has yet to complete the canvassing of votes as certificates of canvass (COC) from several areas are yet to come in.
Out of the total 167 COCs, the NBOC is still awaiting five COCs from Japan, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United States and Abuja in Nigeria.
The COC from Jones in Isabela, where a special election is being held, has also yet to come in.
Comelec conducted a special election for national and local positions in Jones, Isabela after vote-counting machines (VCM) and ballots deployed there were intentionally torched and destroyed during the May 13 polls.
Around 762 registered voters will participate in the special polls.
The poll body said COCs from the said areas cover more than 1.6 million votes.
“I think at this point, it’s a pretty sure bet that we are going to have a proclamation tomorrow,” Jimenez said in a press briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.
Comelec Director for Education and Information Department Atty. Frances Arabe earlier said the poll body wanted to complete the canvassing of votes before holding a one-day proclamation ceremony.
She added that winning party-list groups may be proclaimed in the morning while the senators-elect will be proclaimed in the afternoon.
“The Commission en Banc wants a 100% proclamation. We will try our best to canvass all the COCs so we can only have one event for the proclamation of Senators and the Partylist as well,” Arabe said.
“It will be done in one day but separate schedules. So, party-list will be done in the morning and the proclamation for the Senators in the afternoon,” she added.
Comelec also explained earlier that defective secure digital (SD) cards used in overseas voting have delayed the canvassing of votes by a week.
Arabe said the replacements of corrupted SD cards have to come from their warehouse hub in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.
“That’s why it took time because they had to ship the replacement SD cards,” she said.
With the new SD cards, the Comelec office for absentee voting hopes for a smooth transmission of results in order to complete the canvassing of votes.
As of 7:18 p.m. on Sunday, reelectionist senators Cynthia Villar and Grace Poe still topped the Comelec’s partial and official tally, followed by Bong Go, Pia Cayetano, Ronald dela Rosa, Sonny Angara, Lito Lapid, Imee Marcos, Francis Tolentino, Koko Pimentel, Bong Revilla and Nancy Binay.
The NBOC met at 1:42 p.m. on Monday but the canvassing was suspended immediately as there was no COC to canvass.
The Board is set to resume the canvassing of votes at 7 p.m. later. (with details from Aiko Miguel)
Majority of the Filipinos still favor continuing the holding of elections through an automated system in the future.
Based on Pulse Asia’s recent survey conducted last June, nine of 10 or 91% of Filipinos would still prefer having the elections done electronically.
They said an automated election system is faster and the results are immediately released.
“They feel that faster results made the Elections more credible and then it’s also easier compared to let’s say how we use to vote where you have to write the surname of the candidate,” Pulse Asia president Dr. Ronnie Holmes said.
An election watchdog, however, said that since election results were difficult to manipulate under the AES, reports of vote-buying increased.
“Vote buying became more rampant after we automated our Elections because candidates, politicians did not know how to cheat the machines,” said LENTE executive director Atty. Ona Carritos.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) believes that President Rodrigo Duterte still trusts the automated election system despite his earlier pronouncement in his State of the Nation Address (SONA) favoring the termination of the contract with Smartmatic. (with details from Aiko Miguel) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – The first division of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday ordered the cancellation of the nomination of former National Youth Commission (NYC) Ronald Cardema as a representative of the Duterte Youth Party-list in the 18th Congress.
Comelec spokesperson, director James Jimenez announced the decision on his Twitter account.
“The nomination of Respondent, Ronald Gian Carlo L. Cardema, as the first nominee of Duterte Youth party-list is hereby cancelled,” read the dispositive portion of the poll body’s first division resolution obtained by UNTV News and Rescue.
Two of the three-member division, Commissioners Rowena Guanzon and Marlon Caquejo, voted in favor of the petition while Commissioner Al Parreño was on official business.
In a 25-page resolution, the Comelec 1st division said that Cardema committed material misrepresentation on his age when he filed his nomination bid.
The division said Cardema was not eligible to be nominated as Duterte Youth party representative contrary to the declaration he made in his Certificate of Acceptance of Nomination.
He was also aware that he is already 34 years old, and thus “committed a falsity when he misrepresented that he eligible for nomination” despite not possessing the age qualification provided by law for representatives of the youth sector.
Section 9 of Republic Act 7941 or the Partylist Law provides that a nominee of a youth party-list group must be between 25 to 30 years old.
“In view thereof, this Commission finds respondent to have committed material misrepresentation on his qualifications,” the resolution read.
During hearings, the camp of Cardema claimed that Duterte Youth is a multi-sectoral party representing not only the youth sector but also the young professionals and this, he is eligible to be nominated despite his already being 34 years old.
But taking the petition as a whole, the division said, it can be observed that the party intended to limit its representation of professionals only insofar as “young professionals” are concerned. The division noted that Cardema himself admitted to this effect in the pleadings he filed.
“While it may be true that Duterte Youth Party-list represents both the young and young professionals, it is important to consider that the professionals being represented by the party are the “young ones,” who would necessarily belong to the youth sector,” the resolution stated.
“With this in mind, this Commission finds no reason why the age qualification provided by law for nominees of the youth sector should not be applied to the respondent,” the resolution added.
Election Lawyer Emil Marañon, counsel for petitioners against Cardema’s nomination, welcomed the Comelec division’s decision.
“We are happy to announce that with the vote of 2-0, the Comelec First Division has granted our Petition seeking the cancellation of the nomination of Gian Carlo Cardema as the First Nominee of the Duterte Youth Party-List,” Marañon said on a Twitter post.
“Hopefully, this decision will be the first step towards the reform of the party-list system, that is to bring it back to the truly marginalized and underrepresented sectors,” he said in a separate statement.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has pushed through with the voters registration despite the proposed postponement of the Barangay and SK elections next year.
According to Comelec Spokesman Dir. James Jimenez, it is better to be prepared in case Congress decides not to postpone the Barangay and SK polls.
Jimenez also said voters can still register even on Saturdays and holidays. The voter registration will run until September 30.
“The commission will open the registration process on Saturdays and even holidays to allow more applicants to be accommodated, especially students and working people who may not have time during weekdays,” Jimenez said.
An estimated two million voters will file their registration in the country.—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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