Press Release
April 27, 2010

Senate ready to receive election returns

The Senate is set to receive the Certificates of Canvass (COCs) and Election Returns (ERs) in the elections for the positions of President and Vice President immediately after the polling precincts close at 6 p.m. on May 10.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said the Senate is ready to implement its rules and guidelines for the reception of COCs and ERs. The rules and guidelines were published in two newspapers Monday.

"The Constitution mandates the Senate, through the Senate president, to receive all election returns for the positions of President and Vice President. After inspection, we will transmit them to the House of Representatives where both houses, in a joint session, will start the canvassing of votes," Enrile explained.

Since the country will have its first ever automated election, the Senate will receive both physical and electronic transmissions of the COCs and ERs, Enrile added.

For the purpose, he said, the rules and guidelines designated two venues, one of which is the Senate building in Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City, for the reception of the physically transmitted COCs and ERs while electronically transmitted ERs and COCs will be received in the House of Representatives.

The printed COCs and ERs, contained in ballot boxes, will be received at the Senate building. The COCs, its supporting documents and paraphernalia will be received at the Claro M. Recto and Jose P. Laurel Rooms at the second floor of the Senate building while the ballot boxes containing the election returns will be received at the ground floor lobby.

As Senate President, Enrile will receive the first delivered ballot boxes of the COCs. Subsequent ballot boxes containing the COCs and the ERs will thereafter be received by duly designated reception teams as representatives of the Senate President as provided under the rules and guidelines of the reception. Three reception teams shall be on duty on a 24-hour basis, with each team observing an eight-hour shift, Enrile said.

Presidential and vice presidential candidates and political parties fielding presidential and vice presidential candidate are entitled to one representative each to witness the reception of COCs and ERs, Enrile added.

To ensure transparency of the proceedings, Enrile explained, reception of the COCs and ERs will be documented using still and video cameras. Upon receipt of the ballot boxes and the transmittal slip from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) officer, the team leader, in the presence of the Comelec officer, will describe the condition of the ballot box, state its serial number, the number of keys and locks turned over to them and the serial number of the self-locking seal.

As an added security measure, the Comelec officer will be asked to conform or comment on the description or observation made by the team leader, who will turn over the ballot boxes to the Senate security team for storage.

The team leader who will receive the COCs and the ERs will issue an official receipt describing the condition of the ballot boxes to the Comelec officer.

On the other hand, the Senate will also deploy another team to man the electronic transmission of the COCs at the House of Representatives.

The Senate will assume responsibility over the Consolidation and Canvassing System at the House of Representatives from the time of installation and initialization until the convening of the Congress in Joint Session on May 31 to canvass the Presidential and Vice Presidential votes, Enrile said.

Meanwhile, Senate Secretary Emma Lirio Reyes said the gun ban will be strictly enforced at the Senate premises for the duration of the reception of COCs and ERs. She said Comelec officers and their escorts will be required to deposit their firearms with the security team.

Reyes said only vehicles carrying ballot boxes and other vehicles authorized by the Senate President will be allowed entry into the covered parking area effective May 10. "We are implementing tight security measures during the reception period to ensure that the proceedings will go smoothly," Reyes stressed.

News Latest News Feed