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Comelec eyes partial proclamation to preempt calls for suspension

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The proclamation of the winning senators and party-list groups is expected within the week, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said Sunday.

The Comelec, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, has already tabulated a total of 161 Certificates of Canvass (COC) as of Sunday afternoon.

The commission is now waiting for six COCs from the provinces of Isabela and Zamboanga del Sur, as well as Washington DC, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and Nigeria.

“Zamboanga will come in today and we are waiting also for three or more countries that have no COCs yet. Hopefully, within the day or until tomorrow, their COCs arrive,” Frances Arabe, assistant director of the Comelec Education and Information Division, told reporters, noting the proclamation may either be on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

Asked if the Comelec would allow a partial proclamation for candidates whose votes are already far too high, Arabe said “it depends.”

“If we can do a partial, we can hold a partial (proclamation) first,” she said.

George Garcia, election lawyer and legal counsel of seven senatorial candidates, was among those who agreed to conduct a partial proclamation.

“From the political point of view, habang tumatagal ang proclamation kasi maraming nanawagan na i-suspend ang proclamation,” he told reporters in an interview.

“Di natin sinasabing ‘wag silang pagbigyan. It’s part of democracy and part of due process. Kaya lang, sa dami ng nananawagan ng ganiyan, minsan maraming lumalabas na isyu na hindi na related sa canvassing, hindi na related sa results ng elections,” Garcia added. (PNA)