Congress begins canvassing votes for president, VP

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

The joint committee starts canvassing CoC for Davao Del Sur

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Philippine Congress began canvassing votes for president and vice president on Wednesday (May 25) at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City.

The official count, conducted by the joint canvassing committee composed of selected members of the Senate and House of Representatives, started in the afternoon. The joint committee will conduct daily tallies of the votes until the winners of the elections are proclaimed.

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III leads the Senate panel in the committee, while the House panel is chaired by Mandaluyong Lone District Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales II.

Related: House members, Senate panel in the joint canvassing committee

During the canvassing, the panel chairs are to open the certificates of canvass (COCs) and describe the markings. The panel then asks the council to check the COCs.

The panel and the council compare the electronically transmitted COC and manually transmitted COC if they are identical. They also check whether the COC is duly executed, signed and thumb marked.

Not the venue for protests

At the beginning of the session, former Maguindanao Rep. Didagen Dilangalen, legal counsel of vice presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., motioned to do separate canvassing of votes for president and vice president. Dilangalen said votes for president should be immediately canvassed and the president should be proclaimed.

But, Pimentel and Gonzales said only members of the panel could raise a motion.

Gonzales added a law allows the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) for the presidential and vice presidential elections to only determine the authenticity of the certificates of canvass and record protests against certain COCs. Its responsibilities do not include resolving allegations of cheating, which shall be noted and referred to the Presidential Electoral Tribunal, he said.

The certificates of canvass and election returns, which will be the basis of the official count, arrived in Congress under heavy guard early Tuesday (May 24). They are under 24-hour watch by congressional security personnel.

Once the official canvass is completed, Congress will proclaim the country’s new president and vice president.

CNN Philippines' correspondent Anna Estanislao contributed to this report.