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Poll body stays despite shift to federal form of government

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, July 28th, 2017

IMAGE_UNTV_NEWS_072717_FEDERAL GOV

“The Comelec cannot be abolished because there is a need for an agency that would supervise the election. The question would be if the Comelec will continue to be a national organization or will it be a state organization.”

This was the explanation of Comelec chairman Andres Bautista when asked about what will happen to the poll body if the proposed shift of government from democracy to federalism pushes through.

In the proposal of former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., there will be 11 federal states when the country shifts to federalism – 4 states in Luzon, another four in Visayas, and 3 in Mindanao.

Comelec Chair Andres Bautista said it will still depend on what kind of federalism the country will adapt.

Bautista said one example of federalism is United States where each state has its own election agency.

“That might possibly happen. There might be a Comelec for Luzon, for Visayas, and Mindanao. That would depend on those who would write the federalism law,” Chairman Andres Bautista said.

Comelec said it is ready to discuss its stance on the matter should congress summon the poll body regarding the proposal.

Comelec also recommends a nationwide discussion among lawmakers to help the public understand the effects of federalism in the country.

“What’s important for me is for the public to be taught and given with proper information regarding the plan to shift to a new form of government,” said Bautista.

Bautista said implementing federalism in the country will not be effective at present especially since the country is being run by a democratic government.

Shifting to a federal form of government will mean each state will be given autonomy to create their own laws like on taxation, and infrastructure.

The National Government, meanwhile, will be in charge of matters pertaining to internal and external defense, as well as foreign affairs. – Aiko Miguel | UNTV News and Rescue

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Comelec on proclamation of winning senators, party-list groups: ‘Not today’

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 21st, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has deferred the expected proclamation of winning senators and party-list groups in the 2019 midterm elections on Tuesday.

Comelec Spokesperson Director James Jimenez said in a press briefing that they are still waiting for the certificates of canvass (COC) from Washington, D.C. in the United States.

Jimenez explained the transmission of returns from Los Angeles caused the delay in Washington.

The COC from Washington, D.C. is expected to arrive on Tuesday evening.

He said these votes represent more than 200,000 registered voters, which may still change the rankings in the senatorial race particularly for candidates in the bottom of the top 12.

“In order to make sure na wala nang movement sa rankings ng elected officials natin, we need to get that squared away,” he said in a media briefing at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC).

He added that even a partial proclamation is still not being considered at this point.

“So not today. We will announce when,” he said.

Jimenez said on Monday that the proclamation of winning senators and party-list organizations may likely be held on May 21.

READ: Comelec hopes to proclaim winning Senators, party-list groups on Tuesday

The Comelec, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), has so far canvassed 166 out of 167 COCs for the May 13 polls.

As of Tuesday, 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.

Placing outside the winning circle are reelectionist senators JV Ejercito, Bam Aquino, and former senator Jinggoy Estrada.

Although a date has yet to be determined, the poll body is still eyeing to proclaim winning senators and party-list groups on the same day.

“Ang worst case scenario natin, baka ma-split ang dalawa. But again, right now we are confident na mapagsasabay natin,” Jimenez said.

Once the canvassing of votes is completed, Comelec said it will send out invitations to election winners and their families, and other government officials. Senate race winners will only be allowed to bring ten visitors each due to limited space in the venue.

“There will be no interviews by the media yet, that will be done after the ceremony. We can use the press conference area or even along the sides of the venue but after the program,” said Atty. Frances Arabe, Comelec Director for Education and Information Department.

The poll body has yet to confirm whether President Rodrigo Duterte will attend the proclamation ceremony.

A dry run for the upcoming event is also being held. (with details from Aiko Miguel)

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NYC’s Cardema deemed resigned from post —Malacañang

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019

Ronald Cardema

Malacañang announced that National Youth Commission (NYC) chairperson Ronald Cardema is now considered to have abandoned his position when he filed a petition for substitution before the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as the first nominee of the Duterte Youth Party-list.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said Cardena did not seek permission from the Office of the President.

Panelo added that Cardema’s petition and the Comelec’s confirmation that it was timely filed one day before the elections (May 12) connote “that he is considered ipso facto resigned from his present post.”

“As far as we’re concerned, he showed his disinterest in further serving the Executive branch, who are we to stop him,” Panelo said.

Comelec has no decision yet on Cardema’s petition.

The Palace has ordered him “to vacate his office forthwith and turn over all the official papers, documents, and properties in his possession to the Office of the President.”

Panelo has also assured that “the President shall soon appoint a person who can advance the genuine interests and welfare of our country’s youth as the new chairperson of the NYC.” – (with details from Rosalie Coz) /mbmf

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Comelec hopes to proclaim winning Senators, party-list groups on Tuesday

by Robie de Guzman   |   Posted on Monday, May 20th, 2019

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.

READ: Proclamation of senators, party-list expected early this week – Comelec

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)

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