Congress may delay proclamation of VP


A joint session of Congress, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) for votes from the presidential and vice presidential races in the May 9 elections, may postpone the proclamation of the Vice President pending resolution of complaints and other issues surrounding the very slim lead of Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo over Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.

Former Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal explained over the weekend that Congress can reset the proclamation even if the Constitution provides that a new President and Vice President and more than 18,000 other national and local elected officials should assume office by noon of June 30.

“It’s okay even if there is no Vice President by June 30. The President can take over,” Larrazabal said in an interview with radio station DZMM.

He added that what is important is for the NBOC to proclaim a President before June 30 because it is a symbol of the stability of the country.

“What I’m emphasizing is we can’t hold hostage the presidential proclamation because there is a problem in the [proclamation]of the Vice President. You can set aside the proclamation of the Vice President at a later time till all issues are settled,” Larrazabal said.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon on Sunday said the Speaker of the House of Representatives or the Senate President would be in a better position to speak on the matter as Congress is the official canvasser of votes for President and Vice President.

Former Comelec Commissioner Gus Lagman said Larrazabal may have a point but believes that it was not necessary as the issues being raised can be resolved quickly.

“I don’t think that’s necessary,” Lagman added.

“The official canvass is seing a different set of data and most likely a different set of computer programs, not the same software that created the hash code issue.”

Lagman, an information technology expert, said an alteration made by technology provider by Smarmatic on the script of the Comelec’s transparency server has no effect on the election results.

Election lawyer Manuelito Luna concurred with Larrazabal that Congress may postpone the proclamation of the Vice President not on the basis of law but on its sound discretion.

“Since Leni’s lead is thin and suspect, Congress may do so in the exercise of sound discretion only. It will not be based on law,” Luna pointed out.

Clean election advocate and lawyer Glenn Chong agreed that Congress as the NBOC may reset the proclamation of the Vice President.

“As the National Board of Canvassers for President and Vice President, they have the power to determine the due execution of the COC and [their]supporting documents. They can decide on the question,” Chong said.

As of Saturday, Robredo was still ahead of Marcos by more than 200,000 votes.

Marcos has accused the Liberal Party of rigging the elections, which Robredo denied.

The senator, through lawyer Francesca Huang, earlier said the introduction of a new script altered the original hash code, which in effect also changed the election results on the transparency server.

Huang claimed that the new script started the “rather distinctive pattern” of vote padding and vote shaving that wiped out the almost one million lead of Marcos over Robredo.

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista had admitted the “unauthorized” introduction by Smartmatic of the new script but said it was a minor “cosmetic” change that did not in any way affect the results.

THE Joint Congressional Oversight Committee on the Automated Election System (JCOC-AES) will be conducting its own inquiry into the supposed tampering by Smartmatic with the transparency server.

Senator Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, chairman of the JCOC-AES said, the hearing will focus on actions made by Smartmatic on the transparency server at the height of the unofficial quick count being conducted by various election watchdogs and media networks.

Among those who will be invited to the probe are officials of Smartmatic and the Comelec and representatives of the poll watchdogs and their respective IT experts in a bid to shed light on the incident.

A Smartmatic representative, without asking permission from the Comelec, changed the hash code of a data packet containing election results received by the transparency server of the poll body.

Marlon Garcia claimed that the modification, which happened at around 7 p.m. (May 9), only involved a single character in the name of a certain candidate and had no effect on the votes garnered by other candidates.

Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon had recommended an investigation of possible breach of protocol by Smartmatic.

Meanwhile, Glenn Chong, a member of election watchdog Automated Election System Watch, has announced his plan to ask the Supreme Court to nullify the results of the vice presidential race.

Glenn Chong, a member of, on the other hand will be filling a petition asking SC to nullify the vice presidential race.


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    Kung totoong may dayaan, sana bitayin ang mastermind kasi future ng Pilipinas ang gusto nyang nakawin.

    • Kasalanan ng mga surveys firm yan kase pinaniwalaaan ni bongbong na angat sya sa survey kaya feeling ni BBM panalo rin sya sa tutuong survey which is the may 9 2016 election…so kung panalo ka BBM sa mga survey dapat di na tayo nag election, dapat ikaw na ang VP kase panalo ka sa survey hehehe…ayaw tumanggap ng talo…

  2. “What I’m emphasizing is we can’t hold hostage the presidential proclamation because there is a problem in the [proclamation] of the Vice President. You can set aside the proclamation of the Vice President at a later time till all issues are settled,” Larrazabal said.

    This is good idea and will good for the country. It’s one way of securing the presumptive President Rodrigo Duterte. The LPs Plan B will be put in limbo. In fact, even the senatorial proclamation should also be put on hold as there are questions on the results of its integrity.

  3. Ismael A. Ybanez on

    This is the day of reckoning. GOD is Good!!! Truth will always prevail!!!! Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!!!!! Mabuhay si VP BONGBONG MARCOS!!!!! God be with You always!!!!!

  4. Juan T. Delacruz on

    Here is my two cents: The issue here is about CHEATING or RIGGING election results because a Smartmatic Technician performed “script programming that supposedly correct a problem. the n (enye) and ? (question mark).

    Fact: The “Transparency Server” was dedicated to tabulate votes, and when it receives vote for a certain candidate, it sends the vote to the inbox of that particular candidate and the vote stays or stored there. However, during receive mode, the Smartmatic Technician noticed something, that a machine is giving question mark (?) and doesn’t know which candidate’s inbox is going to, and found out that vote supposedly going to a candidate’s inbox that has n (enye) on his/her name.

    Therefore, the Smartmatic technician performed what “expert” termed as “on the spot correction” and created a “script program”, that defined and gave value to the n (enye) so the next time the computer see this again, it should send the vote to the inbox of this particular candidate that has n (enye) in his/her name.

    “Script Programming” is a sequence of instructions that interpret or carried out by another program rather than by a computer’s PROCESSOR. The bottom line is this: Votes stored in “Transparency Servers” were never compromised nor altered in any WAY, SHAPE, or FORM because of script programming. Mr. Gus Lagman is the only Legitimate “IT EXPERT” that I have seen so far, and the rest are only expert in their imaginations. Lawyers and so called IT Experts and analyst hired by the complainants can NEVER prove by showing numbers, in bits or hexadecimal forms that cheating occurred, shaving or adding votes, or otherwise. These lawyers are just throwing everything on the wall and see what will stick. Nothing will stick because cheating NEVER occurred.

    **If this comment will not appear, Manila Times is under the control of Marcos Family and the two columnists are on their payroll.

    • Only way to disprove the allegations is to comb through the data in the servers by an independent IT tech !

    • Steve Llanes on

      I work in IT and any implementation of a new program or script strictly needs a change ticket with the approvals of application managers, quality engineering, and finally change management who are the keeper of the production system. This insertion of script, be a correction or not, is illegal and a breach of security.

    • And the tinkering to correct the alphabetical error doesn’t change or affect the vote going to the right inbox of Robredo or Marcos! What’s the beef all about?

    • I am a voter and I deserve to know truth….this is vital to our nation and it needs explaination from the Comelec. We don’t need dismissive opinions as is nothing happens…”cosmetic” lang naman…eh harap harapan ka na niloloko papayagan mo pa ba! ibang klase na yan…its good that congress will look into this…the more government agency involve the better so that we will really get into the bottom of this….because if there is smoke…there is fire di ba? What happened basically is somebody just dwcided to change something in the middle of the count which is illegal in the first place…the critical issue is, by allowing that to happen comelec personnel literally opened that person to change anything he wishes…he already opened the door by inputing the password…tapos sasabihin lang “wala yan…wala may nabago dun…” eh kung meron, di tumatawa ang puwet nya at walang may nakakaalam?

  5. Noel Garcia on

    It is useless to go to Supreme Court at this time the congress has the sole power to canvass the votes & proclaim the winner of the Vice Presidential then thereafter the losing candidate can go to a regular court to contest the election subject to appeal to the CA & SC

  6. Better still, there should be recounting of votes because the results are now being doubted due to the admitted fixing even if they claim was minor and cosmetic.

    Another observation is the presence of some nuns who are volunteers. You may ask what’s wrong? Do you think Catholic nuns are non-partisans. Some volunteers could be priests in civilian clothes or seminarians. What’s my point? My point is the Catholics are traditionally anti-Marcos. Led by the late Cardinal Sin, the Catholic Church conspired with some groups to oust Marcos. The son now ran for VP and is currently in a controversial race with Robredo, a true blooded LP or Aquino ally. The Aquinos and the Catholic Church’s relationship goes way back during the time of Ninoy. Are there volunteers who belong to other religious groups? Maybe. We don’t know how they’re screened and admitted, though. PPCRV was commissioned by the Catholic Church and the place is located at Pope Pius Center, Ateneo. For one thing, the head of PPCRV De Villa used to be PH Ambassador to Vatican and a certified yellow follower.