Liberal Party (LP) vice presidential candidate Leni Robredo took an early lead over her rival, Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., on the first day of official canvassing of votes in Congress, with 26 out of 165 Certificates of Canvass opened.
As of 6:45 p.m., Robredo has garnered 1,574,374 votes, 321,097 more than Marcos’ 1,253,277.
The official count is based on 26 out of 165 Certificates of Canvass (COC) that included overseas absentee votes tabulated by a joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC).
Robredo scored a huge win in Cebu province, home to 2.7 million registered voters, with 162,509 votes. Marcos, on the other hand, got 92,007 votes.
She also dominated in other Visayan provinces such as Guimaras where she got 56,249 votes, Siquijor, 30,468 votes, Bacolod City, Negros Occidental, 119,447, Lapu Lapu City, Cebu, 63,766 and Camiguin, 38,030.
The Camarines Sur lawmaker also scored big in Region 4, getting 514,608 votes in Batangas against Marcos’ 261,499.
In Romblon, Robredo got 61,915 votes. Marcos garnered 24,645 votes.
She was also the favorite in Tarlac, the province of President Benigno Aquino 3rd, where she got 243,756. Marcos got 214,166.
In Batanes, Robredo got 4,566 votes against Marcos’ 1,079.
Marcos, on the other hand, dominated the overseas absentee voting in Singapore where he got 14,915 votes, Malaysia, 1,322, South Korea, 1,721, Madrid, Spain, 3,124, Lebanon, 2,408, Qatar, 6,119 and Bahrain, 3,228.
He also scored big in the Metro Manila cities of Valenzuela, 116,455, Pasay, 97,776, San Juan, 26,543, Navotas, 47,943 and Malabon, 67,992.
Marcos also gained ground in Davao del Sur with 80,303 votes and in Baguio City with 76,009 votes.
Robredo, however, won in North and Latin America with 1,429 votes. Marcos got 809 votes.
Robredo on Wednesday said she is confident of victory.
“I am not worried about anything. I am confident that the truth will prevail. It’s just a matter of time. We did everything right in the campaign, we started with a Mass…we did all that was needed in the right way,” she told reporters after hearing Mass with daughters Aika, Tricia and Jillian.
“I am always praying that the canvassing will run smoothly, just as clean as the conduct of the last elections. We want the votes protected, and we are very confident in our legal team that they will staunchly push for our cause,” Robredo said.
She noted that Marcos’ camp is sending a message that he is the winner among informal settler communities.
“There are lies being floated around, photos…videos… of vans going around informal settlers, encouraging people power, because it is they [Marcos camp] who won. This is sad because they are taking advantage of the people who are not familiar with the processes, just so they can peddle lies,” the lawmaker said.
Former congressman Didagen Dilangalen, counsel for Marcos, asked the Joint Canvassing Committee (JOC) to disclose the security markings and features of the COC after discrepancies surfaced on the first day of the official canvass.
Dilangalen said revealing the security features of the COC will help determine the authenticity of the election documents.
“How would we know if the COC is authentic or not?” he asked, noting that it is the duty of the committee to determine the due execution of the election documents as provided for under the laws.
Senator Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel 3rd, however, overruled the motion of Dilangalen, noting that none of the members of the Senate panel in the
JOC challenged the authenticity of the COC.
Pimentel, chairman of the Senate panel, also noted that of the five electronicallytransmitted COC from Davao del Sur, the first to be canvassed, four COC matched but the figures in one, or the first transmission, did not match with the rest.
He ruled that the panel would use the last four transmissions.
Camarines Sur First District Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr., a member of the panel of the House of Representatives, also questioned the basis of the ruling of the panel when it was the first electronically-transmitted COC that is different from the rest.
In view of the manifestation of Andaya, the joint panel asked the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to explain within 24 hours why there were discrepancies on the electronically transmitted COC from Davao del Sur.
Marcos has sought an audit of the transparency and central servers of the Comelec before the official canvass after learning that a key official from technology provider Smartmatic introduced a new script into the transparency server without informing the poll body about the change.