By: Elena Grace Flores
Rep. Neptali Gonzales, the majority floor leader expressed his doubt as reported by CNN that the canvassing can begin promptly on Wednesday, May 25, 2016 as scheduled. This is because – finalizing the canvassing rules can take more time as anticipated considering the Vice Presidential disputes.
Armored combat vehicles escorded the military’s large vehicles transferring ballot boxes securing the certificates of canvass and election returns for both the presidential and vice presidential races to the canvassing venue – which is the House of Representatives in the early hours of May 24, 2016.
Visibility of Government forces were obvious in the site securing the House of Representatives or HoR. The legislative security personnel were the only ones authorized to move the ballot boxes into the venue. Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. will be the ones opening ballot boxes – and no one else as per protocol.
Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate convened as the National Board of Canvassers and start setting down the rules for canvassing the votes. Members of the board of canvassers will also be disclosed. The 1987 Constitution mandated that the country’s new president and the vice president will be proclaimed in the Congress’ joint session – but in the present case, it’s either that the proclamations for both will be delayed or the Presumptive President will be proclaimed first. However this still remains to be seen as Senator Bongbong Marcos requested audit first – before proclamation but Leni Robredo’s camp pushed for the other way around.