All over for Roxas

06/09/2010 - SEN. Manuel Roxas II asked his lawyers to prepare an electoral protest and not give up on 2.6 million nullified votes that could swing the vice presidential election in his favor.

Today, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay is expected to be proclaimed vice president. By the time the last election returns from Lanao del Sur were canvassed, he led Roxas by at least 736,084 votes.

Roxas said it is his duty “to ensure the electoral process will truly be an instrument of the voters’ will.”
Binay’s camp dismissed the impending protest and thanked the Congress for an “impartial and speedy” canvassing.

Sen. Benigno Aquino III will be proclaimed president. He led by some 5.72 million votes over his closest contender, former president Joseph Estrada.

It took Congress eight days, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers, to finish the canvassing—the longest part of the country’s first automated elections.

Congress canvassed a total of 278 COCs, 107 of which were from overseas absentee voting.

Based on final results, Aquino won 15,208,678 votes. Binay garnered 14,645,574 votes.

Binay’s closest rival, Roxas, obtained 13,918,490 votes. Estrada, who placed second, got 9,487,837 votes.

Other presidential candidates each got less than 40 percent of the votes for Aquino: Sen. Manny Villar (5,573,835); Gilberto Teodoro Jr. (4,095,893); Eddie Villanueva (1,125,878); Richard Gordon (501,727); Nicanor Perlas (54,575); Jamby Madrigal (46,489); and JC delos Reyes (44,244).

In the vice presidential race, Sen. Loren Legarda placed third with 4,294,664 votes; followed by Bayani Fernando (1,017,631); Edu Manzano (807,728); Perfecto Yasay (364,652); Jay Sonza (64,239); and Dominador Chipeco (52,562).

Before the canvassing adjourned, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and House Speaker Nograles gave the candidates’ lawyers time to say their parting statements.

Both the Senate and House expect a “smooth session and proclamation” of winners at 2 p.m. today.

Enrile assured the quorum will not hamper the proclamation and appealed to his colleagues to respect the results of the canvassing.

“I would like to appeal to every member of Congress to rise above ourselves and respect the will of the people. If we have any gripes or grievances, we should follow the rule of law so we can show the world that we are politically mature.”

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said the poll body is happy with how the election was done, but vowed to do better in the 2013 elections.

“We have done this ... for the Filipino people,”

Enrile told a jubilant crowd before he and Nograles banged the gavel to conclude several days of canvassing.

A 50-year-old bachelor and economics graduate, Aquino will officially become the 15th president on June 30.

His Liberal Party ally, Florencio Abad, said that by restoring trust in government and fighting graft, Aquino will likely avoid the military unrest that hounded past presidents, including his mother, who fought off seven coup attempts, and Arroyo, who survived four attempted power grabs.

“The problems I will be inheriting are still growing to this very day and, perhaps, to the last day,” Aquino told reporters Monday.

Aquino said he has been busy assembling his Cabinet from the ranks of defectors from Arroyo’s administration and loyal Aquino supporters. He has pledged to create a commission to investigate corruption allegations against Arroyo and her officials—a potential flash point early in his six-year term. (Sun Star)

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