MANILA - The House of Representatives on Monday adopted a concurrent resolution for the holding of a joint public session to canvass the votes for president and vice president in the May 9 elections.
According to House Resolution 26, the House and the Senate will convene on May 24 at 10 a.m. as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) to tally the votes for president and vice president.
In an interview, House Secretary General Mark Llandro Mendoza assured that Congress would be canvassing the votes with efficiency and full transparency.
He noted that the NBOC-Congress is determined to finish on Wednesday night or Thursday morning, at the latest, by having the canvassing run for 24 hours every day, without suspensions.
Meanwhile, Mendoza reiterated that the public is assured of transparency for the whole of the canvassing through continuous live streaming and the presence of the media.
"Walang tulugan. Hindi naman sa nagmamadali, [pero] mabilis lang talaga 'yung proseso ngayon. Very transparent naman. Nandyan kayo (media) at may livestream (No one's going to sleep. We're not in a hurry, but the process now is just fast. It's also very transparent. There would be the media and the livestream)," he said.
Speaker Lord Allan Velasco assured the nation that the canvassing of votes and proclamation of winners in recent presidential and vice presidential elections will be "expeditious, transparent and credible."
"The Congress, sitting as the NBOC, is duty-bound to make sure that the entire process of vote counting and transmission of results will be done expeditiously and with utmost transparency and integrity," Velasco said.
"We will perform our constitutional duty quickly and efficiently. We will be combining accuracy and speed in order for us to meet our committed timeline," he added.
The House chief also said the vote canvassing will proceed despite a pending disqualification case against presidential candidate Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. before the Supreme Court.
"Our duty to canvass is mandated by the Constitution itself," Velasco said. "Nothing therein says that this duty is suspended while a case, which has already been dismissed by the Commission on Elections, is pending with the Supreme Court."
House Secretariat officials on early Monday morning received from the Senate the ballot boxes containing the election returns (ERs) and certificates of canvass (COCs) for the canvassing of votes for the presidential and vice presidential candidates.
A total of 167 ballot boxes of COCs and 441 ballot boxes of ERs were unloaded in front of the House Main Entrance Building at 4:40 a.m.
The ballot boxes were transported from the Senate by seven Army trucks.
After the ballot boxes were unloaded, these were clustered and inventoried by Senate security staff led by Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Rene Samonte; House Sergeant-at-Arms Rodelio Jocson; and staff of the House Legislative Security Bureau.
The ballot boxes were also scanned through a baggage X-ray machine, after which, they were carried by personnel of the House Engineering Department to the Plenary Hall. The ballot boxes were then placed on a table on the north side of the Plenary Hall.
Other House officials who oversaw the delivery of the ballot boxes were Inter-Parliamentary and Public Affairs Department Deputy Secretary General Gracelda Andres, Office of the Secretary General Executive Director Corazon Alano, Information and Communications Technology Service Director and Committee on Tabulation Chairman Julius Gorospe, as well as Building and Grounds Maintenance Service Director Evangeline Vallejo. (PNA)