Comelec defers proclamation of senators, party-list groups

By , on May 21, 2019

FILE: COMELEC REMINDS CANDIDATES TO SUBMIT SOCE. Commission on Elections (Comelec) Spokesperson James Jimenez reminds all candidates in the recently concluded mid-term polls to submit their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCEs), during the press briefing held at the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) headquarters, Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City on Wednesday (May 15, 2019). Under the Omnibus Rules on Campaign Finance, failure to submit SOCEs within six months from proclamation will stop winning candidates from assuming the duties of the post he/she had won. (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Tuesday deferred the proclamation of the elected 12 senators and party-list groups.

This, as the transmission results from Washington, D.C. in the United States has yet to arrive in the country.

“Very sorry to disappoint everyone but it looks like today (Tuesday) is not the day (of proclamation). We are currently canvassing the returns from KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and we have to await the returns from Washington, D.C. because they represent more than 200,000 registered voters so in order to make sure that there will be no movement in the ranking of our elected officials, we need to get that. So not today,” said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez in a press briefing.

“We will announce when. Then like what I said, not today. That’s it,” the poll body official added.

There is a total of 228,472 registered Filipino voters in the US capital.

Jimenez explained that they are having a hard time communicating with the post in Washington because of the time difference.

“We expect that today but rather late, that’s the problem. Right now, it’s around midnight in Washington DC and we’ve been trying to reach them but we are experiencing difficulties,” he said.

Manila’s time zone is ahead by 12 hours than Washington.

With this, the Comelec official noted that the seven-man panel is planning to work until the canvassing is completed to be able to immediately schedule the proclamation.

“We’re expecting the results from L.A. (Los Angeles) to arrive in Washington by around 8 p.m. Philippine time. That would be canvassed there by the SBOC (Special Board of Canvassers). But once these are canvassed by the SBOC in Washington, it will be transmitted electronically and hopefully that would be fast. Our Commissioners are planning to stay until it is done so that we can push for the proclamation as soon as possible,” Jimenez said.

He added that the only concern is just the transport of the election returns from LA to Washington.

On the other hand, he added that they have not yet officially invited the would-be winners of national positions.

“Our notices ang ongoing. Just about that point, there are no invitations yet,” Jimenez said.

Asked if there is a new scheduled date of proclamation, the Comelec official said, “For now, it’s not today but I guess the reasonable expectation is within a day or two. But at this point, with everything that’s happened, let’s just wait what will happen, but again, it’s not today.”

As of Monday, a week after the May 13 midterm polls, the Comelec sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) has tallied 166 out of the 167 Certificates of Canvass (COCs).

Also, the poll body said that it is looking to proclaim new party-list representatives on Wednesday evening.