By: Greg Gregorio
May 19, 2019 – The top 6 senatorial candidates in the recently concluded midterm elections could now be considered as sure winners, this is according to Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Education and Information Department Assistant Director Frances Arabe.
Arabe made the statement as the Comelec en banc, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) continues the official canvassing of votes based on certificates of canvass on Sunday.
Based on the partial and official tally of votes from the latest report of the NBOC last night, reelectionist Senator Cynthia Villar is still leading the senatorial race with 24,199,174 votes, second is reelectonist Senator Grace Poe with 21,183,332 votes, at the third spot is former special assistant to the presdent Bong Go with 19,568,909 votes, at the fourth place is Representative Pia Cayetano who is seeking for a senate comeback with 18,999,378 votes, at the fifth spot is Bato dela Rosa with 18,045,456 votes and at the sixth spot is reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara with 17,442,174 votes.
However, the proclamation date for the winning candidates is still undetermined due to a number of certificates of canvass that are not yet received by the NBOC.
The NBOC is now waiting for 6 remaining COCs from Isabela, Zamboanga del Sur, Washington DC, Japan, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Atty. Abdul Basr, election lawyer of senatorial candidate Bato dela Rosa is pushing for the comelec to conduct partial proclamation of the senatorial race frontrunners.
Basr emphasized that it is acceptable since the remaining votes from the certificates of canvass that are pending transmission would no longer impact those top candidates.
Atty. George Garcia, meanwhile, election lawyer for Senatorial candidates Grace Poe, Lito Lapid, Bong Revilla, Francis Tolentino, Sonny Angara, Pia Cayetano and Koko Pimentel pointed out that it is legally acceptable to conduct a partial proclamation.
He even cited a case of Ebdane vs House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal wherein the supreme court ruled in favor to the proclamation of a congresswoman even with a pending printout of a certificate of proclamation at that time.