MANILA,  May 25, 2004
By Bong Patinio, Reporter and Jude Torres, Reporter - THE Commission on Elections on Monday officially proclaimed the top 11 senators who won in the senatorial race in the May 10 polls.

Reelectionists Rodolfo Biazon and Robert Barbers are fighting for 12th and 13th position, with Biazon leading by only 45,000 votes.

Comelec Chair Benjamin Abalos said the proclamation was incomplete because the commission was waiting for the last three certificates of canvass (COCs) from Lanao del Norte, Sarangani and Cotabato City.

He said the ranking of the candidates in 12th and 13th places would still be affected because there were 808,465 registered voters in those three.

The candidates who were proclaimed were former trade and industry secretary Manuel Roxas III (K-4), Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. (K-4), Aquilino Pimentel Jr. of the opposition Koalisyon ng Nag­kakaisang Pilipino (KNP), Jamby Madrigal (KNP), former tourism secretary Richard Gordon (K-4), Pilar Juliana Cayetano (K-4), Miriam Defensor Santiago (K-4), former Manila mayor Alfredo Lim (KNP), former senator Juan Ponce Enrile (KNP), former San Juan mayor Jinggoy Estrada (KNP) and former Pampanga governor Manuel Lapid.

Of the 11 proclaimed candidates, Roxas, Revilla, Madrigal, Gordon, Cayetano, Lim and Estrada were neophytes.

The National Board of Canvassers proclaimed the winners by reading the certificate of proclamation to each candidate.

Abalos read the names of the winners one by one without ranking.

“There was no enumeration of votes garnered by each candidate who was proclaimed that was embodied in our resolution,” he said.

Besides the supporters of the winners, President Arroyo was also there to witness the proclamation of her administration’s six senatorial candidates.

The administration Koalisyon ng Katapatan at Karanasan para sa Kinabukasan (K-4) virtually announced that President Arroyo had won the May 10 presidential election by a slim margin of one million votes against her closest rival, Fernando Poe Jr. of the Koalisyon ng Nagkakaisang Pilipino (KNP).

At a press conference at the Leyte Room of the Philippine Westin Plaza, Secretary Gabriel Claudio, K-4 campaign manager on leave and presidential legislative adviser, and Romeo Macalintal, President Arroyo’s counsel for the national canvassing, said Mrs. Arroyo’s victory was based on the 173 official certificates of canvass used by the Commission on Elections in determining the 11 senatorial winners.

Macalintal said the COCs used by the Comelec in determining the actual votes won by the senatorial candidates also contain the actual votes of the presidential and vice-presidential candidates.

According to Macalintal, based on the 173 authentic COCs, President Arroyo won against Fernando Poe Jr. by 1,060,782 votes.

In the release issued by the administration party, President Arroyo got 12,554,127 votes; Poe, 11,493,345; Sen. Panfilo Lacson, 3,445,976; Raul Roco, 2,055,876; and the televangelist Eddie Villanueva, 1,927,491 votes.

Macalintal and Claudio denied preempting the outcome of the canvassing to be done by the National Board of Canvassers, composed of members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Claudio said they decided to announce the alleged authentic COC results to prevent irresponsible quarters from spreading disinformation about the real outcome of the election.

K4 also presented to the media the results of the votes won by Arroyo and Poe based on regions.

In Metro Manila Arroyo got 1,048,016, Poe 1,452,389.

In the Cordillera Autonomous Region Arroyo got 224,686, Poe 148,426.

Region 1 GMA had 685,356, FPJ 837,613; Region 2, GMA, 362,548, FPJ, 501,088; Region 3, GMA 1,408,196, FPJ 1,592,678; Region IV-A, GMA had 970,275, FPJ 1,756,485; Region 4-B, GMA had 236,841, FPJ 478,234; Region V, GMA 540,638, FPJ 465,480; Region 6, GMA 1,578,340, FPJ 692,746; Region 7, GMA 1,810,946, FPJ 405,832; Region 8, GMA 701,233, FPJ 668,399; Region 9, GMA had 537,838, FPJ got 441,799 votes; Region 10, GMA had 512,003, FPJ got 492,462 votes; Region 11, GMA had 618,110, FPJ got 626,786 votes; Region 12, GMA got 349,879, FPJ 400,807; ARMM, GMA had 385,703, FPJ 219,187; CARAGA, GMA 477,461, FPJ 266,706; and at the overseas absentee voting, GMA had 106,058, FPJ 46,228.

The administration party is confident that allegations of election fraud will not affect the result it presented in the presidential and vice-presidential candidates, since nobody from the other political parties questioned the COC used in the senatorial canvassing.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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