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Canvassing panel finds discrepancy in Davao Del Sur COCs, asks Comelec to explain

Discrepancies in the certificates of canvass (COCs) from Davao del Sur were observed during the canvassing of votes by Congress, sitting as the National Board of Canvassers.

None of the candidates' lawyers questioned the COC but a member of the canvassing panel asked the Commission on Elections to explain the discrepancy in 24 hours.

Upon inspection of the contents of the ballot box from Davao del Sur, Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, one of the presiding officers for the session, noted that the Consolidation and Canvassing System (CCS) produced five copies of the election results from the electronically transmitted provincial COCs.

This meant, Pimentel said, that the CCS server received five transmissions.

Of the five electronically transmitted COCs, four contained the same figures while one had different numbers for both the presidential and vice presidential race.

The four electronically transmitted provincial COCs bearing the same results, however, had the same figures as the COCs which were physically delivered to Congress.

Since none of the presidential and vice presidential candidates’ lawyers questioned the discrepancy in the figures indicated in the five electronically transmitted COCs, Pimentel said they will disregard the COC which had different figures, and admit for canvassing the COC whose figures match with the physically delivered COCs.

Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya, however, asked that the Commission on Elections explain the discrepancy within 24 hours.

Based on Davao del Sur’s COCs, incoming President Rodrigo Duterte had 269,660 votes from the province.

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., meanwhile, had 80,303 votes compared to his closest rival in the vice presidential race, Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo, who garnered 29,288 votes.

Although Marcos’ legal counsel Didagen Dilangalen did not raise objections about the COCs from Davao del Sur, he asked the joint panel about the security markings on the documents, stressing the need to determine their authenticity.

In response, Robredo’s lawyer, Romulo Macalintal, said Dilangalen’s question was inappropriate since lawyers can only object to the admission of the COC for canvassing.

Addressing lawmakers, Macalintal said: "May I request, your honors, that counsels only take to the microphone to make a manifestation regarding the exclusion or inclusion of a certificate of canvass? That's the only duty of the lawyer."

Macalintal said Robredo’s camp would not object to the admission of the COC for canvassing even if Marcos was ahead of her by a mile in the province.

Robredo is leading the vice presidential race based on the results indicated by the Comelec's transparency server. —NB, GMA News