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‘Deceptive proclamation’ Comelec accused of violating rules

THE Commission on Elections on Friday was accused of holding a “deceptive proclamation” and was urged to declare its proclamation not valid as it was the result of the poll body’s abuse of power.
Binay explains. Senatorial candidate Nancy Binay of the opposition United Nationalist Alliance said she didn’t show up at the proclamation because she was uncomfortable because not all the votes had been counted. With her is Rep. Toby Tiangco. Danny Pata
Romulo Macalintal, an election lawyer and a counsel for UNA senatorial bet Gregorio Honasan, said the Comelec violated its own rule that a candidate be proclaimed only after all the votes had been counted. “The proclamation should be declared null and void and those who were proclaimed should return their incomplete certificate of proclamation as the proceedings were tantamount to deceptive proclamation,” Macalintal told the Manila Standard. “Such proclamation is defective because it does not contain the number of votes obtained by the alleged winners and no ranking was made but was merely based on alphabetical order.” UNA secretary general Toby Tiangco, who was proclaimed winner in the congressional race in Navotas, also criticized the proclamation. “Why proclaim? What’s the hurry?” Tiangco said. “How come for local candidates they want 100 percent of the results in? In Navotas we had to wait for just three precincts until 3 a.m. even if my lead was big. How come in the senatorial race they won’t wait? What’s the rush?” Senator Aquilino Pimentel III said the proclamation was “premature” and “wrong.” The Comelec on Thursday proclaimed senatorial candidates Grace Poe, Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, Chiz Escudero, Juan Edgardo Angara and Nancy Binay, although Binay did not show up at the Philippine International Convention Center. The Comelec made the proclamation even though it had only counted 72 out of the 304 certificates of canvass. Binay on Friday said she felt uncomfortable showing up at the proclamation considering that UNA had filed an urgent motion seeking the suspension of the proclamation until the Comelec had explained the anomalies noted by UNA in the conduct of the elections. “I decided not to show up because it was awkward for me to be there, and I felt uncomfortable that very little votes or only 22 percent of the votes cast had been counted, yet I was being proclaimed as the number 5 winner,” Binay said. “I want the canvassing completed so it would leave no doubt that I indeed won and placed fifth.” Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. said the proclamation was made on the basis of a “grouped canvass report,” which showed the votes of all the candidates in all contested positions and including the number of registered voters. “Now prove to me that any of the six will be removed from the 12 [winning senators],” Brillantes said. “I will resign if the six are removed from [the winning list]. We had no ranking, and that was why it was alphabetical. We were sure [the six] would not lose whatever happened.” With Joel E. Zurbano, Gigi Muñoz-David and Macon Ramos-Araneta
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