House leaders assure integrity of canvassing

Published May 24, 2022, 4:17 PM

by Seth Cabanban

The two chambers of Congress–the House of Representatives and Senate–held a joint session Tuesday, May 24 as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) began canvassing the votes cast during the May 9, 2022 national elections–a process that solons assured will be conducted with integrity.

Speaker Lord Allan Velasco uses a bolt cutter to open the ballot box containing certificates of canvass from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, as Congress—sitting as the National Board of Canvassers—begins to perform its constitutional duty to count the votes cast and thereafter proclaim the winners in the presidential and vice presidential elections. (Photo from House of Representatives Media Bureau / MANILA BULLETIN)

“As we carry out our duty as enshrined in the Constitution, rest assured that we will uphold the integrity of the electoral process. We shall ensure that the voices of our fellow Filipinos, both here and abroad, as expressed through their ballots are reflected and upheld,” said Majority Leader and Leyte 1st district Rep. Martin Romualdez in his preliminary remarks during the canvassing.

Romualdez on Tuesdays morning was designated as chairman of the House contingent of the NBOC. Meanwhile, House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III jointly presided over the session.

“As the chairperson of the House [NBOC] panel, I give the assurance that the meetings before this Committee on the canvassing of votes will be characterized by accuracy, transparency, and expediency,” stressed Romualdez.

House members Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla, Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, Kristine Singson-Meehan, Sharon Garin, Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe, and Juliet Marie De Leon-Ferrer form the NBOC contingent from the lower chamber.

Reps. Juan Pablo “Rimpy” Bondoc, Johnny Pimentel, Alfredo Garbin Jr., and Stella Luz Quimbo compose the alternate members to the contingent.

“Sa isang demokratikong bansa, ang boses ng mamamayan ang siyang masusunod. Ang tanging layunin natin ay pagkakaroon ng isang tapat, kapani-paniwala, at mapayapang eleksyon kung saan ang pagkabanal at pagkalihim ng mga balota ay napapangalagaan (In a democratic country, the voice of the people must be obeyed. Our objective is to assure an honest, credible, and peaceful election wherein the sanctity of the ballot is respected),” Velasco said during the canvassing proper.

“At ang kagustuhan at kapasyahan ng mga bumoto ay hindi pinahina o nabigo, bagkus ang siyang mananaig (And that the will of the voters is not weakened or unfulfilled, and that it prevails),” Velasco added.

Once canvassing concludes, the NBOC joint committee’s report must be approved by a majority of the members of the House and Senate.

The two chambers of Congress will, after voting separately, come up with resolutions proclaiming the president-elect and vice president-elect who will lead the country for the next six years.