SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The House of Representatives and the Senate met in a joint session Tuesday to convene as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) tasked by the Constitution to count the votes and thereafter proclaim the winners in the presidential and vice presidential elections.
The joint public session, held at the House plenary hall inside the Batasang Pambansa Complex in Quezon City, was opened and presided over by Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Senate President Vicente Sotto III.
In his opening remarks, Velasco said that members of Congress have gathered together “to ensure that the will of the people in choosing the two highest officials of our country is respected.”
“Let democracy reign in our country! Let the voice of the people be heard,” Velasco declared.
The House chief likewise assured that Congress would faithfully perform its “sacred” duty to canvass the votes and thereafter proclaim the President-elect and Vice President-elect.
“Ito po ay ang iniatang na sagradong tungkulin ng ating Konstitusyon—ang magbantay at siguruhin ang wastong pagbilang ng mga boto para sa susunod na mamumuno ng ating bansa,” the Speaker stressed.
He added: “Sa isang demokratikong bansa, ang boses ng mamamayan ang siyang masusunod. Ang tanging layunin natin ay pagkakaroon ng isang tapat, kapani-paniwala, at mapayapang eleksyon kung saan ang pagkabanal at pagkalihim ng mga balota ay napapangalagaan, at ang kagustuhan at kapasyahan ng mga bumoto ay hindi pinahina o nabigo, bagkus ang siyang mananaig.”
After determining the presence of a quorum in both chambers, the House and the Senate adopted the rules of the joint public session and immediately proceeded with the creation of a Joint Congressional Committee that would do the actual count of votes for President and Vice President.
Speaker Velasco designated 11 House lawmakers as regular and alternate members of the Joint Committee, including House contingent chairperson, Majority Leader Ferdinand Martin Romualdez.
Aside from Romualdez, other regular members are Reps. Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla, Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, Kristine Singson-Meehan, Sharon Garin, Manuel Jose “Mannix” Dalipe, and Juliet Marie De Leon-Ferrer.
The alternate members are Reps. Juan Pablo “Rimpy” Bondoc, John Ty Pimentel, Alfredo Garbin Jr., and Stella Luz Quimbo.
On the part of the Senate, Sotto appointed as regular members Senators Juan Miguel Zubiri, Nancy Binay, Franklin Drilon, Imee Marcos, Grace Poe, Ralph Recto, and Pia Cayetano, with Zubiri as chairperson of the Senate contingent.
Sotto also designated Senators Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Risa Hontiveros, Koko Pimentel, and Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa as alternate members.
Under the rules, the Joint Committee shall decide on all questions and issues raised involving the Certificates of Canvass by a majority of vote of its members, each panel voting separately.
In case the two panels disagree, the decision of the chairperson shall prevail. In case of a deadlock, the matter shall be resolved by the Speaker and the Senate President.
Once the canvassing is completed, the joint committee report shall be approved and signed by a majority of the members of the Joint Committee.
The report shall be approved and signed by a majority of the members of the Joint Committee. Each panel will vote separately.
After which, the report shall be submitted to the joint public session for consideration and approval. A majority of senators and House members, voting separately, shall approve the report and adopt the resolution of both chambers proclaiming the duly elected President and Vice President.
Upon adoption of the resolution of both houses, the Speaker and the Senate President shall proclaim the President-elect and the Vice President-elect. #