MANILA, Philippine – The proclamation of winning senatorial candidates cannot be suspended by a mere request from any group, Senate aspirant and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal said, noting that there must be a petition filed by a “real-party-in-interest.”
Macalintal issued the statement after Father Edwin Gariguez, Executive Secretary of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines’ (CBCP) National Secretariat for Social Action, urged the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to defer the proclamation of winners of the May 13 midterm elections, amid technical glitches reported on election day.
READ: CBCP urges Comelec to delay proclamation of winners for national positions
In a statement Thursday, Macalintal pointed out that to suspend the proclamation of election winners, a petition should be filed by the “real-party-in-interest” such as, but not limited to, the candidates in the 13th and 14th positions in the senatorial derby if there is evidence to prove that the unaccounted results from some unreported clustered precincts will affect the vote-lead of the 12th winning candidate.
“The suspension of the proclamation cannot likewise be made without proper notice to the affected candidates who are entitled to be heard before his or her proclamation is suspended,” he said.
“The petition shall be filed with the National Board of Canvassers duly furnished the candidates to be affected by said petition,” he added.
This was also Comelec’s position earlier when it asked the CBCP to file a formal petition if it wishes to delay the proclamation of election winners at the national level.
READ: CBCP urged: File petition to defer proclamation of winners at nat’l level
“There has to be a formal petition addressed to the Commission (Comelec) en banc. The first step is a formal petition being filed,” Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez said in a press briefing Thursday.
“Hindi naman pwedeng sasabihin lang, magpe-press release lang tapos sunod na lahat ng tao. Kailangan may formal process tayo,” he added.
The poll official also claimed that winners in the senatorial and party-list race will be known this week but the proclamation date remains indefinite. (Editor: Gilbert S. Gaviola)
READ: Comelec to announce poll winners this week
READ: Comelec: Proclamation of winning senators ‘roughly within 2 weeks’ after May 13
See the bigger picture with the Inquirer’s live in-depth coverage of the election here https://inq.ph/Election2019
Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.