Senate, House start vote count

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JOINT SESSION Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. preside over the joint session as the two Houses of Congress convened as the National Board of Canvassers. PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

JOINT SESSION Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. preside over the joint session as the two Houses of Congress convened as the National Board of Canvassers. PHOTO BY RUY L. MARTINEZ

Congress will start the official canvassing of votes for President and Vice President Wednesday after adopting the rules that will govern the count on Tuesday.

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The House of Representatives and the Senate convened as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) yesterday. The Joint Session was presided by Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr.

Abakada Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz tried to delay the proceedings by claiming that there are separate Certificates of Canvass (COC) in Pangasinan for the Presidential and Vice Presidential race.

House Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales 2nd, the head of the Lower House’s contingent in the NBOC, however rebuffed dela Cruz by underscoring that there is only one COC for the President and Vice President.

Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo, a member of the House contingent in the NBOC, agreed with Gonzales.

DAWN DELIVERY Military trucks carrying ballot boxes wound their way to the House of Representatives at dawn Tuesday. The Senate and the House will officially start counting votes for President and Vice President today. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

DAWN DELIVERY Military trucks carrying ballot boxes wound their way to the House of Representatives at dawn Tuesday. The Senate and the House will officially start counting votes for President and Vice President today. PHOTO BY RUSSELL PALMA

Aside from Gonzales and Quimbo, others named to the House contingent are Reps. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro, Rey Umali of Oriental Mindoro, Silvestre Bello 3rdof 1-BAP party-list, Elpidio Barzaga of Dasmariñas, Oscar Rodriguez of Pampanga and Ibarra Gutierrez of Akbayan paty-list.

The members of the Senate panel for the NBOC are Senators Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, Sonny Angara, Teofisto Guingona 3rd, Serge Osmeña 3rd, Ralph Recto, Juan Ponce Enrile and Vicente Sotto 3rd.

Senators Joseph Victor Ejercito and Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th will sit as alternate members in the panel if the regular members are not available.

Those who ran for the top two elective posts and their kin were not allowed to be part of the panel.

Senate President Franklin Drilon dismissed the request of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. not to count the certificate of canvass from areas with allegations of cheating.

Drilon said the NBOC will count all the votes and Marcos will have to appeal to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) if he has any question on the results of the elections.

WITH MICHAEL JOE T. DELIZO

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