My playlist for the presidential election canvass… but before that, here’s the pertinent constitutional provision on the job of Congress as a National Board of Canvassers for the presidential and VP elections:
“Art. VII, Sec. 4. xxx
“The returns of every election for President and Vice-President, duly certified by the board of canvassers of each province or city, shall be transmitted to the Congress, directed to the President of the Senate. Upon receipt of the certificates of canvass, the President of the Senate shall, not later than thirty days after the day of the election, open all the certificates in the presence of the Senate and the House of Representatives in joint public session, and the Congress, upon determination of the authenticity and due execution thereof in the manner provided by law, canvass the votes.
“The person having the highest number of votes shall be proclaimed elected, but in case two or more shall have an equal and highest number of votes, one of them shall forthwith be chosen by the vote of a majority of all the Members of both Houses of the Congress, voting separately.
“The Congress shall promulgate its rules for the canvassing of the certificates.
“The Supreme Court, sitting en banc, shall be the sole judge of all contests relating to the election, returns, and qualifications of the President or Vice-President, and may promulgate its rules for the purpose.” (Article VII, Sec. 4, Philippine Constitution).
This means: Congress, at the end of its count, will proclaim the person having the highest number of votes as… THE WINNER! (you will not get bored, there will be grandstanding on the part of the representatives of the contending VP candidates while the best election lawyers of the country, namely, Sixto Brillantes for Bongbong Marcos, Romulo Macalintal for Leni Robredo, and Leila de Lima for the Liberal Party, will be quarterbacking their respective legal teams. Presumptive President-elect Digong Duterte didn’t seem to be anxious enough to send any election lawyer to represent him. At the very least, he should send a lawyer who knows his/her math. At some point during the long-winded wrangling between the VP camps, his margin from the canvass might be large enough for him to be proclaimed President while the VP candidates wrangle. Get your calculator. The VP contenders are disputing only about 200,000 votes and they could stall for two dozen days, while the margin for president is 6 million. Do the math, election laws allow for proclamation if the margin is so wide that even if a canvass of 200,000 or one million is conceded, it will not affect the top ranking. Separate proclamation is allowed if the numbers, or the size of the margin, makes the rest of the COCs irrelevant. It’s a matter of mathematics and not of “legalistics”. So … presumptive President-elect Digong Duterte should at least send a lawyer who knows his/her math.