• The joint session of the Congress declined the request of Marcos’ camp to hold a separate canvassing of votes for vice president
  • Sen. Bongbong Marcos said the NBOC could proclaim Duterte as the president-elect without having to wait for the results for vice president
  • House Majority Floor Leader Rep. Neptali Gonzales maintained that there could be no separate canvassing of votes since there is only one COC for the two positions

There will be no separate canvassing of votes for the position of vice president despite the calls made by the camp of Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

In an article written by Xianne Arcangel for GMA News Online on May 24, 2016, it was disclosed that the joint session of the Congress composed of the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives declined the request raised by Abakada party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz to amend Rule VI, Section 10 of the canvassing rules; claiming that there are separate certificates of canvass (COCs) for the positions of president and vice president.

Dela Cruz, who served as Marcos’ campaign adviser prior to the local and national elections last May 9, insisted on the presence of separate COCs for the two highest executive positions in the country; trying to convince the canvassing committee to proclaim the winners for president and vice president separately.

If it is advised by the body that the joint committee can make certain decisions regarding these candidates separately, then they can refer to the COCs separately because there are separate COCs for president and vice president,” he said.

According to Marcos, the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) could immediately proclaim Davao City outgoing Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the president-elect without having to wait for the results for vice president since Duterte’s lead over his rivals has already been established.

However, House Majority Floor Leader Rep. Neptali Gonzales maintained that the canvassing of votes could not be held separately.

I am not aware that there are separate COCs for president and vice president. As far as I know, there’s only one COC for the president and vice president,” Gonzales said.

On Wednesday, the Congress formally started the official canvassing of votes for the two positions after finishing the proceedings related to the 16th Congress, which will end on June 10.

Prior to the canvassing, Gonzales had foreseen that there could be delays in the process due to the slim margin between the votes of Camarines Sur Rep. Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo and Marcos.

We will have no problem with the presidential candidates because of the huge lead of Mayor Duterte and the fact that his opponents have already conceded defeat. But in the VP race, they will surely scrutinize the COC,” he said.