THE Congress, which serves as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) for the presidential and vice-presidential elections, is expected to proclaim the winning candidates Wednesday, May 25, House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez said.

In the resumption of the joint session at the Batasang Pambansa, Romualdez said that as of 11:03 p.m. of May 24, 105 certificates of canvass (COCs), out of the total 173 have already been canvassed after having been determined authentic.

“With only 68 COCs left, we are expecting to finish the canvassing of the COCs today (May 25) after the submission of joint committee report and the adoption of resolution of both houses we shall have proclaim the president and vice president elect before this day ends,” he said.

The committee deferred the canvassing of votes from Mandaluyong City due to missing certificates of canvass from the ballot box.

Romualdez said they had already sought the explanation of concerned election officers.

"We shall now defer the canvass of the City of Mandaluyong until we have a better explanation from the Comelec elections supervisor from the city of Mandaluyong," he said.

On Tuesday evening, May 24, the joint committee also noted three missing COCs, which were from the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Pampanga and Surigao del Sur, prompting them to summon the respecting board of canvassers (BOC).

Through a video call, the concerned election officials were put under oath and were asked to explain.

The BOCs of Surigao del Sur admitted failing to include the COCs in the ballot boxes, which were transmitted to the Senate.

The provincial election supervisors of Sultran Kudarat and Pampanga however testified that they included the physical COCs in the ballot boxes.

The three provincial BOCs all sent photographed copies of their COCs to the joint committee through Viber and these were authenticated by the NBOC by comparing it to electronically submitted COCs.

The three COCs have already been included in the canvassing.

“The joint committee likewise directed three provincial election supervisors to transmit the physical COCs to the joint committee and to submit a written explanation why these physical COCs were not inside the ballot boxes transmitted to the Senate and opened by the joint committee,” said Romualdez.

He said the concerned election officers already advised the committee that they will come personally to deliver the COCs.

In the partial and unofficial vote count of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and his running mate, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte Carpio, were both leading their respective races, with over 31 and 32 million votes, respectively. (SunStar Philippines)