Nothing can stop Congress from performing canvass mandate, says Zubiri

Published May 19, 2022, 3:55 PM

by Mario Casayuran

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri on Thursday, May 19 said nobody can prevent Congress from performing Its duty to ensure the peaceful transfer of power.

Zubiri stressed this amid the filing of two petitions in the Supreme Court (SC) asking it to temporarily stop the Senate and House of Representatives from proceeding with the canvassing of votes for president and vice president, which is expected to start on May 24.

“Congress is constitutionally-bound to canvass the results for the president and vice president,’’ he said.

‘’That is our democracy and that is our sworn duty to the Filipino people. We only need a few days to complete this task and we commit that before June 30 , we shall have our new president and vice president. The ones elected by the sovereign will of [31] million Filipino people,’’ he added.

He was referring to the more than 15 million-vote difference between those garnered by presumptive President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and presumptive Vice President Sara Duterte-Carpio over their respective rivals.

‘’Kaya wag na po kayo aasa na hindi ito matutuloy dahil ito ang aming katungkulan bilang miyembro ng Kongreso na ma canvass lahat ng Boto ng Pangulo at Pangalawang Pangulo bago mag June 30 (To those who seek to stip the proclamation, that is our duty as members of Congress to canvas the votes of the candidates for president and vice president). Walang makakapigil sa amin yan (Nobody can stop it). Trabaho namin yan at gagawin namin ito. (That is our work and we will do it),’’ Zubiri stressed.

Presumptive president Marcos will take over the reins of power from outgoing President Duterte at noon on June 30.

In a related development, Senator-elect Joseph Victor (JV) Ejercito was asked whether his embracing and raising of hands with fellow Senator-elect Jose ‘’Jinggoy’’ Estrada, his half brother, at the proclamation by the Commission on Elections (Comelec) of the winning 12 senatorial candidates Wednesday night, May 18, meant that all is well between them.

JV said: ‘’As long as it does not get in the way of our work, then we can co-exist because we were both elected.’’

The relationship between the two half-brothers has been rocky, to say the least.