Congress of the Philippines
Sponsorship Speech of Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel F. Zubiri on the
Committee Report of the Joint Committee on the Presidential and Vice-
Presidential Canvass for the May 10,2010 Election
9 June 2010
”Sa inyong makakakita ng bukang-liwayway , batiin ninyo ito ng buong sigla at huwag kalimutan ang mga nasawi sa dilim ng gabi.” – Jose Rizal in Noli Me Tangere
Magandang hapon pos a ating lahat!
Tomorrow we will see the light of the day with a new President and Vice-President elect. A new hope, a new beginning.
The exercise of the right of suffrage is a too valuable constitutional right that cannot be compromised, tramped or disregarded, if not totally reduced to nothing. The legitimacy or illegitimacy of a government rests on the credibility of the electoral exercise that catapulted it to power. The mandate of the sovereign and the trust reposed on the government by the governed should be planted, cultivated, and harvested based on the seeds of truth.
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, distinguished colleagues in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, ladies and gentlemen, as mandated by the Constitution and obligated by the Filipino people, it is my honor and pride to sponsor the Report of the Joint Committee on the Canvass of Votes for the Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates in this monumental and historical May 10, 2010 Automated Elections before this Joint Public Session of Congress.
Exactly a month after the country’s first nationwide automated election, we are gathered here to fulfill our Constitutional duty, the last official act of this Fourteenth Congress that is to proclaim the President and Vice President-elect in the last May 10, 2010 elections. Today after the historic automated elections, which awed, bewildered, amused and even confused both the electorate and the candidates, with the speed of the counting of votes and transmitting the results by the machine we now know as the PCOS or Precinct Count Optical Scan machines, Congress will now give its seal of approval, a Constitutional requirement, to the winning Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates.
This Joint Committee conscientiously examined the Certificates of Canvass, both the manually transmitted and the printed copy of the electronically transmitted COCs and painstaking determined their authenticity and due execution, as required by law and our Rules, and as not to be accused of railroading the process at times summoned the chairpersons of several Provincial and City Board of Canvassers to profound questions on the authenticity and due execution of the concerned COCs. This Committee has patiently and impartially listened to the various manifestations of counsels of the different candidates, and judiciously and fairly ruled on the different motions of the counsels and of members of the joint Committee, as well. We, the members of the committee, did not want to sacrifice accuracy over speed that is why we even waited for the results from the special elections of the province of Lanao Del Sur.
After only 9 days of grueling meetings generally characterized by cordial debates among its member and counsels of the different candidates and sometimes punctuated by intense deliberations and emotional outburst by some of our members, this Joint Committee respectfully submits its report before this August Body for consideration and approval and I would like to note that this canvassing is the fastest in our history under this Constitution.
This Joint Committee canvassed a total of 278% COCs from provinces, highly urbanized cities, Local Absentee Voting and Overseas Absentee Voting less the return from those countries where no votes were cast as certified by Department of Foreign Affairs, and found all of them to be authentic and duly executed.
The results of the canvass show that BENIGNO SIMEON COJUANGCO AQUINO III, garnering a total of 15,208,678 votes with lead of 5,720,841 votes over the second placer, obtained the highest number of votes for President.
On the other hand, JEJOMAR CABAUTAN BINAY obtained the highest number of votes for Vice President with 14,645,574 votes with a lead of 727,084 votes over his closest opponent.
In the final analysis, our people’s faith, ideals and aspirations are what keep the torch of democracy alive, because when the lamp of democracy fades into the darkness, we begin to wonder “how great is that darkness?”. Let this be a reminder to us all, particularly to my colleagues in this august chamber that our obligation as guardians of our beloved democracy should not stop in this historical canvassing. Let this experience teach us how we can improve our automated elections for 2013 and beyond though amendments to Republic Act No. 9369 otherwise known as the Automation Law. We can make the process more efficiently by finding a system that would prevent a large percentage of null votes, as well as that which safeguards the election paraphernalia and equipment thereby avoiding the situation of having loosely accounted machines and compact flash cards right after the elections. As the canvassing ends, our obligation and mandate to the Filipino people begins towards the change we are all hoping and awaiting for.
Mr. President, Mr. Speaker, the Joint Committee hereby recommends that Congress, as the National Board of Canvassers, approved the Report of the Joint Committee and the Resolution of Both Houses No. 1, declaring the results of the National Elections held on May 10, 2010 for the Office of the President and Vice-President and proclaiming BENIGNO SIMEON COJUANGCO AQUINO III and JEJOMER CABAUTAN BINAY as the duty elected President and Vice-President of the Republic of the Philippines, respectively. I so move, Mr. President, Mr. Speaker.