Statement by Frank Drilon followed by Q & A
The public should not be misled by the media reports and claims of Mayor Binay that he has already won the vice presidential race based on the Comelec count which has stopped at 78%. An average of 22% of all the precincts nationwide remain unreported due to delays caused by PCOS machines’ failure to transmit.
The results, in many instances, and in the case of my home city Iloilo, the losing mayoralty candidate, former Justice Raul Gonzalez, has even filed a petition to stop the transmission, obviously for political reasons. It is quite obvious that the 78% of the precincts included in the Comelec count does not yet reflect the true results of the election. The 22% that has not been reported represent approximately 7 million votes. And many of these unreported precincts come from the bailiwicks of Senator Mar Roxas. These are Regions 6, 7 and 8. There are enough votes in those regions to overcome the lead of 800,000 of Mayor Jejomar Binay. We are confident that at the end, the bailiwicks of Senator Mar Roxas will provide a winning margin for our Liberal Party candidate, although admittedly, it would be slim.
The Comelec has every legal right to stop at 78%. We recognize that we cannot compel them to continue up to 100% because they can assert that it is not part of their legal duty to proclaim the president and the vice president as this presides with Congress. They are only doing this in the interest of public service.
However, since they have stopped the counting, since Comelec has stopped the counting, the remaining 22% will be transmitted directly to the server situated in the Congress of the Philippines, in the Batasan, because that is where the national canvass will be done. Only at that time when this canvass is completed will the real winners be known.
And I will repeat, majority of these unreported precincts, of the remaining 22% would come mostly from the bailiwicks of Senator Mar Roxas in Region 6, 7 and 8. Therefore, we would want to warn the public not to believe any claims by the Binay camp that they are already the winners because that is farthest from the truth.
The Liberal Party or the campaign headquarters of Senator Mar Roxas are not delaying the count. Let me assure you of that. In fact, as I have cited earlier, in Iloilo City, it is the losing mayoralty candidate, former Justice Secretary Raul Gonzalez, who is delaying by filing a petition to stop the proclamation of the winners.
When all the reports are in, we expect Senator Mar Roxas will be declared the winner of the vice presidential race.
Legally, the Comelec is correct that while indeed there is no legal compulsion on the part of the Comelec to finish the count 100%. We wish that they will consider the public interest in this particular case and complete the count so that the people will know the result of the race for the vice presidency. We must remember that Congress convenes on May 31 yet and therefore, everybody will be kept hanging between now and maybe until the middle of June. That’s about a month. Public interest dictates that Comelec should finish 100% the canvassing of the vice presidential race. Otherwise, people will be on pins and needles. And all kinds of speculations will come in.
Thank you very much.
QUESTION AND ANSWER
Q: Mayor Binay had a press conference. They insist that special operations are being conducted, especially in the bailiwicks of Senator Mar. At ang operator daw po ay si former Defense Secretary Avelino ‘Nonong’ Cruz. Sinusubukan daw niyan I-manipulate iyong canvassing of votes?
Drilon: We deny that. There is no manipulation anywhere. You cannot manipulate the PCOS machines. How can you manipulate the PCOS machines? We do not have, I don’t think anyone has the technical capability to manipulate the PCOS machines. We deny that. There is no truth to that. That’s part of their propaganda.
Q: Iyon daw pong mga elections returns sa Capiz and Roxas?
Drilon: I think the returns are already finished, in so far as Roxas city and Capiz are concerned. It was sent to me, I can look at it right now. (Capiz reports)
I have the final results of the province of Capiz. For 1 city and 14 municipalities out of 17. Binay is 82,536. Roxas is 112,071. If this is a bailiwick of Senator Mar Roxas, he leads by merely a 100,000. We deny and reject the allegation that we are manipulating these results. These have been reported.
Q: Binay seems to have a fixed lead of 800k?
Drilon: Well, yes but that’s because the votes from Regions 6, 7 and 8 have not yet been transmitted 100%. And therefore, it’s not a surprise that the lead has been maintained. Once the bailiwicks of Mar Roxas comes in, we are confident that we can overtake his lead.
Q: Hindi ba kayo nagtataka na baka daya lang itong 800,000?
Drilon: We are not the type who will make charges without the appropriate proof. We will continue to look at this but at this point, we are not prepared to make any charges.
Q: Where is Senator Roxas?
Drilon: I am not in a position to tell you. I do not know. I have been resting myself from the very difficult campaign.
Drilon: You know, Mayor Binay must be doing their own math. And I am sure that they have access also to these servers. And they are concerned that they could lose, that is why they are making these charges of manipulating the results in order to condition the minds of our people, that in case they lose, dinaya sila. That’s the usual trick that we should not fall into.
Q: Sabi ni Binay, gusto na niyang kausapin si Vice President Noli de Castro, baka daw po kasi magkaroon ng dayaan?
Drilon: Si Noli de Castro? It’s his privilege to talk to anyone. But I assure everyone that our party or Sen. Mar Roxas, or anyone from our camp, are involved in any manipulation. Hindi po kami kasama at wala pong kahit anong manipulasyon ng resulta ng halalan. Kami po’y naniniwala na kapag nakapasok na ang mga boto sa mga bailiwicks ni Senator Mar Roxas ay sa Visayas region – sa 6, 7 and 8 – kaya pong mahabol ang lamang ni Mayor Jojo Binay.
Q: Nasan po si Senator Mar Roxas?
Drilon: Hindi ko po alam kung nasaan si Senator Mar Roxas. Ngunit dahilang ako ay taga-Region 6 and I have information from the ground as to what is happening in the canvassing there, the party has asked me to conduct this press briefing. Because for example in Iloilo, tapos na po ang canvassing. The Board of Canvassers were about to transmit the results but Secretary Raul Gonzalez, the losing mayoralty candidate, has filed a petition to stop the transmission of these results. So this shows that we are not the ones who are delaying. The fights in the local level are the ones affecting the quick canvassing of these votes from the Visayas.
But what is clear is that only 78% of the total national votes have been canvassed. And the 22% represents 7 million votes, most of them coming from the Visayas. And these are more than sufficient to overhaul the lead of Mayor Jojo Binay.
Q: Any specific figure dun sa mga bailiwicks? Why are you confident?
Drilon: I am confident because I have the actual results showing very substantial leads.
In Cebu. Cebu City, final and official. Roxas – 240,311. Binay – 91,246. We are basing our figures on what actually happened on the ground.
In the province of Antique, 13 out of the 18 municipalities.