MANILA,  JUNE 15, 2004
By JP LOPEZ  -  The Koalisyon ng Nag-kakaisang Pilipino yesterday said its tally showed Fernando Poe Jr. and Loren Legarda have won.

The count being done by the People's Tally and Action Center (PTAC) was based on municipal certificates of canvass (COCs).

Allan Mauricio, PTAC chief, said the municipal COCs are more reliable than provincial COCs which are being used in the ongoing congressional canvass.

The KNP said the tally report was based on 26,512,427 votes (around 82.54 percent of estimated voter turnout of 33 million) counted by the PTAC as of 1:49 p.m. yesterday.

According to the PTAC tally, Poe was leading with 11,026,699 votes or 629,532 more against President Arroyo's 10,397,167 votes.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson was third with 3,335,681 votes followed by Raul Roco with 1,944,026 and Eddie Villanueva with 1,808,854 votes.

Legarda led with 11,130,159 votes against Noli de Castro's 10,867,651 or a difference of 262,508 votes.

Hermie Aquino got 578,900 votes.

It was the other way around for the last report released by Namfrel on June 5 as it ended its count with 79.21 percent of precincts covered.

The Namfrel count showed Arroyo leading Poe Jr. by 515,598 votes (9,674,597 to 9,158,999).

Namfrel left around seven million votes uncounted because of what it said were technical problems, discrepancies with official numbers, and some illegible returns.

It said it would deliver its final report on June 30.

The KNP said the PTAC tally should convince the Congress majority to allow the counting of returns from municipal COCs and precinct statements of votes (SOVs) in the event that provincial COCs are questioned.

It said the "primary documents" of municipal COCs and SOVs are more authoritative than the final COCs containing summaries of the SOVs and municipal COCs that could contain errors and alterations.

Opposition lawmakers have been saying manufactured COCs are being tabulated by the National Board of Canvassers.

KNP lawyers said under the Constitution and the canvass rules, the municipal COCs and other election returns, including SOVs at the precinct level, may be opened and canvassed if there is an obvious alteration on the COC copy of Congress.

But Sen.-elect Miriam Defensor Santiago explained in a TV interview yesterday morning that such could be applied only if there is a difference between the COC copies that representatives of presidential and vice presidential bets have and the copies being canvassed by Congress.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

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