UNA's Tiangco asks Comelec: Why the hurry?

by Jon Carlos Rodriguez, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at May 16 2013 11:32 PM | Updated as of May 17 2013 07:32 AM

MANILA – United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) secretary general Toby Tiangco questioned the decision of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to proclaim 6 topnotchers in the Senate race when they have only canvassed 22% of the votes.

“Why proclaim when it is only 72 out of 304 or 22% of the [COCs]? Why proclaim? What’s the hurry?” Tiangco told ANC’s “Prime Time” on Thursday.

Tiangco, who was proclaimed winner in the Navotas congressional race, said he had to wait for 6 hours for his own proclamation despite leading by a wide margin.

“My experience in the local election, they called me at 9 p.m., I went there at 9:30 p.m. because they said there were only 3 precincts left out of 135. So that was about 95% canvassed and there was no way for our opponents to catch up with us, but we had to wait 6 hours just to get the 3 other PCOS results just to make it 100%,” he said.

Tiangco said the same process was followed by canvassers in the local race in Valenzuela City.

“I don’t understand why there is a different application on a national scale and on a local scale. Twenty-two percent is not even half of the votes cast, and yet you’re doing a proclamation. I’m not casting any doubt but I am just asking the Comelec, why the hurry? Why can’t we wait for 50%? Why don’t we proclaim altogether?” he said.

Comelec proclaimed on Thursday night Team PNoy senatorial candidates Grace Poe, Loren Legarda (Nationalist People’s Coalition), Alan Peter Cayetano (Nacionalista Party), Francis Escudero (independent) and Sonny Angara (Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino), and UNA candidate Nancy Binay.

Binay, however, did not show up for the proclamation after UNA protested the partial proclamation.

Tiangco said he is unaware of the reason for Binay’s absence at the proclamation held at the PICC in Pasay City.

“I do not want to speculate on that. I have to ask Nancy about that,” he said.

Comelec proclaimed the winners alphabetically because the rankings may still change. Comelec’s official count showed Poe leading the race with 6,978,111.

Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes, meanwhile, said the 72 COCs canvassed are already sufficient to declare half of the Senate winners.

Brillantes said the remaining COCs will only affect the rankings but not the status of the 6 candidates they have already proclaimed as winners.

“Sa 304 COCs, ’yung 200 dun OAVs, maliliit na boto. Based ito sa number of votes, not on the number of COCs, hindi na sila matatalo, sigurado na silang senador,” he said.