Marcos, Duterte proclaimed victors as historic 2022 poll season comes to an end

It was a foregone conclusion, but still an eagerly awaited one due to its historical importance.

(Noel Pabalate/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Former senator Bongbong Marcos and incumbent Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte were officially proclaimed duly-elected president and duly-elected vice president respectively, in a joint session by the House of Representatives and Senate at past 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 25.

Their overwhelming victories in the May 9 elections gave both of them majority mandates from the electorate--a rarity in Philippine politics. The "UniTeam" tandem did so under a multi-party system, making the feat even more impressive.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III and House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco made separate proclamations of the winning tandem upon motions made by Senate Majority Leader Migz Zubiri and House Majority Leader Martin Romualdez, respectively.

Zubiri, in his speech at the joint session, said the May 9 polls were, "For me, one of the most credible, orderly, and peaceful in our elections' history".

"It has the highest number of votes cast in our nation’s election history, with an 82 percent voter turnout," added the chairman of the Senate contingent to the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC), which tabulated the votes cast for the top two positions in the land.

Zubiri's House counterpart in the NBOC, Romualdez, was more forward-looking in his speech even as he alluded to a "divisive" election season.

"The majority has spoken. It is high time that we listen to their voice and uphold the outcome of our democratic process. Let us heal the wounds of political division, brace ourselves for the challenges ahead, and move forward as a strong and united Philippines," he said.

For his part, Velasco highlighted the positive implications of--for once--having a politically aligned president and vice president working together for the country's future.

"In previous elections, Filipinos voted for president and vice president from different parties. Finally, this year, we will learn the importance of voting for a tandem – a UniTeam that can work together, a UniTeam that can collaborate with each other, and a UniTeam that can push for a shared national agenda," he said.

"The people have spoken decisively. This is not just your sweeping electoral victory. This is an overwhelming victory for all Filipinos. This is a victory of our democracy," added Velasco.

The NBOC concluded its canvassing at around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Shortly after this, Marcos and Duterte arrived separately at Batasan Complex in Quezon City, home of the House of Representatives and site of the canvassing.

They were both wearing white barongs by the time they were invited to the plenary hall for the simple proclamation rites.

(Noel Pabalate/ MANILA BULLETIN)

The final and official tally , which counted the votes from 171 out of 173 certificates of canvass (COCs), showed Marcos and his UniTeam running mate Duterte with 31,629,783 votes and 32,208,417 votes, respectively.

The NBOC, co-chaired by Zubiri and Romualdez, canvassed the COCs from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, or for six and a half straight hours.

Add this to the nine hours of canvassing during day one, and you get a rather expeditious 15 and a half hours of canvassing in total. Zubiri said this was the fastest canvassing in the country's history.

But even before the NBOC went to work, most Filipinos were already expecting an anti-climactic canvassing process given the massive lead that Marcos and Duterte built over their respective rivals based on transparency server data.

Just before the conclusion of the canvassing, Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Cavite 7th district Rep. Boying Remulla manifested on the floor the non-delivery of COCs from two foreign service posts: Buenos Aires in Argentina and Damascus in Syria.

Remulla said the Buenos Aires COC covered overseas Filipino workers' (OFW) votes from Argentina, Bolivia, and Uruguay; on the other hand, the Damascus COC contained OFWs votes from Syria.

These locations had 515 registered voters, with 129 actual votes cast. "But the results have not arrived," the Cavite solon said.

Remulla moved to terminate the canvassing after Zubiri and Romualdez agreed that the non-tabulation of votes from the missing COCs won't have any bearing on the results of the presidential and vice presidential race. (With reports from Seth Cabanban)