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Comelec resumes canvassing; this time for party-list groups


(Updated 2:59 p.m.) - After a one-day pause, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday resumed the canvassing of votes from the May 13 polls—this time for the party-list groups.
 
Of the 123 party-list groups printed in the ballots, 12 were purged by Comelec to end up with 111 as the proportional representation in Congress of the marginalized and underrepresented sectors.
 
The poll body has no choice but to canvass the votes of disqualified groups included in the ballots which were printed before the Supreme Court that allowed them to run.
 
Comelec cancelled the accreditation of 11 party-list groups on May 6, based on new parameters set by the Supreme Court, and disallowed another one from joining the May 13 elections. 

In a press briefing, poll chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. said they suspended the canvassing of votes of the disqualified groups, adding they would tally it "separately" in case the high court votes in favor of these groups' appeals. 
 
He said they have already asked which of these groups planned to go to the Supreme Court. "'Yung mga hindi na aayat ng Supreme Court, pwede na naming tanggalin," he said.
 
To expedite the process, Brillantes said they skipped the individual reading of party-list votes. During the senatorial canvassing, the Comelec read the number of votes per candidate from each province, highly urbanized city or overseas absentee voting center. 
 
Instead, the groups' counsels were given copies of the canvass report so they could verify it with that showed on the screen, the poll chief said. 
 
"We'll dispense with the reading at mas malaki ang mase-save na oras," Brillantes said. 
 
 
The poll body finished canvassing 304 certificates of canvass (COCs) for the senatorials five days after the elections, and the Top 12 were proclaimed as of Saturday.
 
But critics, including election lawyer Romeo Macalintal and former chief justice Artemio Panganiban, lashed at the Comelec for rushing the proclamation even though not all the COCs have yet  been canvassed at that time. — Marc Cayabyab/VS/KG, GMA News