MANILA, Philippines - The Liberal Party (LP) believes the 800,000 lead of vice-presidential front runner Jejomar "Jojo" Binay in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) partial tally can still be overcome by its vice-presidential bet Manuel "Mar" Roxas.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, lawyer Joe Nathan P. Tenefrancia, Aquino-Roxas Bantay Balota (ARBB) Over-all Deputy National Coordinator, said that as of Wednesday morning, the votes in 22% remaining precincts equivalent to around 8 million votes, have not been included in the Comelec tally.
"It's still a long way to go. It's still not the time to celebrate," Tenefrancia said.
He explained that the election results (ERs) from the remaining precincts were not transmitted to the Comelec's main server because of either Precinct Count Optical Scan (PCOS) malfunctions or due to signal difficulties.
As a result, Tenefrancia said the Certificates of Canvass (CoC) of the ERs would now have to be transported to the City or Municipal Board of Canvassers for tallying.
Once the City or Municipality BoC tallies the votes, the results would be forwarded to the Provincial BoC for sealing and for final transmission to the Comelec for the canvassing of the senatorial and party-list votes, and to Congress for the counting of the presidential and vice presidential votes.
Congress will convene on May 31 for the official canvassing of the votes for president and vice-president.
Tenefrancia stressed: "The official results of the vice presidential race will only come once the NBC [National Board of Canvassers] has completed its canvassing. It's very early to be celebrating or planning out offices and even to begin hiring staff personnel."
The LP said the uncanvassed election results include those from the following provinces:
Agusan del Norte
Tenefrancia claimed that in many of these provinces, the vote trend is "in favor of Roxas."
"Unless these votes are tampered with, it is clear that the 800,000 lead could easily be surpassed by the votes from Roxas' bailiwicks," Tenefrancia said.
"We are confident that by the end of the official canvassing of the VP race, Senator Roxas will emerge victorious," the former Palace lawyer said.
Visayas votes can still deliver for Mar?
LP Chairman Franklin Drilon reported that in Iloilo, Roxas has a lead of around 310,000 votes, with eight towns and a component city yet to be canvassed.
Drilon claimed he also received information from former National Power Corp. (NPC) president Jesus Alcordo in Cebu that Roxas won by roughly 1.05 million votes over Binay in the vote-rich province. He also quoted Negrenese businessman Bitay Lacson that Roxas' lead in Negros is in excess of 500,000 votes.
"This already gives Mar more than one and a half million votes from these Visayan bailiwicks alone, as against Binay's lead which now stands at roughly 800,000 votes," Drilon said.
Drilon said he still believes that Roxas can "win by a hairline."
He criticized the camp of Binay for claiming that the LP would conduct "special operations" in Mindanao to reverse the lead of Binay.
In many of these provinces, Tenefrancia alleged that the vote trend is in favor of Roxas. "Unless these votes are tampered with, it is clear that the 800,000 lead could easily be surpassed by the votes from Roxas' bailiwicks," he said.
"We are confident that by the end of the official canvassing of the VP race, Senator Roxas will emerge victorious," Tenefrancia said.
Meanwhile, lawyer Pancho Joaquin, ARBB spokesperson reminded their watchers nationwide to continue to guard the votes of Roxas.