Enrile says PET is right venue to tackle 3M null votes

June 4, 2010 8:02 pm 

MANILA, June 4 – Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said on Friday that the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) and not Congress, sitting as the board of canvassers, is the proper venue to bring all the allegations of cheating and election fraud and protests, including the reported three million null votes in the last May 10 elections.

”If there are three million null votes, it has to be taken with the PET. We cannot nullify any votes but we cannot include votes that are not presented to us for canvassing,” Enrile said in a media interview before the start of the sine die adjournment of the 14th Congress.

The ongoing canvassing of votes for president and vice president in Congress has been flooded with complaints but Enrile, co-chairman of the 18-man joint panel, ignored most of them mostly coming from the losing candidates.

”All the allegations of cheating and fraud in the last presidential and vice presidential elections will not be addressed by the canvassing body, it should be brought to electoral tribunal,” he added.

According to the camp of Liberal Party, the three million votes in danger of being nullified include the 2.6 million votes cast for vice-president. These have been declared “null” because of over-voting or under-shading.

Despite the allegations of cheating and protests, Enrile is hoping to proclaim the next president and vice president by Tuesday as the canvassing body resumes on Monday to finish the canvassing of certificates of canvass from five areas.

The five areas which has an estimated 1.4 million votes include Davao City, Bacolod City, Mt. Province, Eastern Samar and Lanao del Sur.

”We will continue the canvassing on Monday. I do not know how long they can make the committee report but surely we will try to do the proclamation the following day if we can,” Enrile said.

So far, the canvassing body has counted 232 COCs. The committee will no longer count 41 overseas absentee voting for failure to cast votes.

Liberal Party bet Noynoy Aquino is already assured of victory after his lead in the presidential race ballooned to more five million as of Thursday night.

Aquino III pulled away in the votes tally with 14,641,083 votes while former President Joseph Estrada is far in the second spot with 9,125,823 followed by Senator Manuel Villar with 5,384,262 votes in third place.

For the vice presidency, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay is still on the top spot with 14,084,873 votes, enjoying only more than 600,000 votes over closest rival Senator Mar Roxas who has already garnered 13,440,127 votes. Senator Loren Legarda is in third spot with 4,125,588 votes.

The other presidential bets and the votes they garnered are: Senator Richard Gordon, 489,832; Vitallano Acosta, 174,747; Nicanor Perlas, 52,734; Jamby Madrigal, 44,695; and JC delos Reyes, 42,695 votes.

The other vice presidential candidates and their votes garnered are: Bayani Fernando, 992,778; Perfecto Yasay, 350,628; Edu Manzano, 79,091; Dominador Chipeco, 50,878; and Jose Sonza, 61,139 votes.

Expected votes from Bacolod City amount to 205,208; Davao City, 580,236; Mt. Province, 74,179; Eastern Samar, over 100,000; and Lanao del Sur, over 500,000. (PNA)



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