Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Congress final count: It’s Aquino-Binay (Proclamation set Wednesday at Batasan)


By Norman Bordadora, Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:25:00 06/09/2010



Filed Under: Inquirer Politics, Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Benigno Aquino III, Jejomar Binay, Mar Roxas


Original Story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100609-274628/Congress-final-count-Its-Aquino-Binay


MANILA, Philippines—It’s official. It’s final.

As widely expected, Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III of the Liberal Party won the presidential election by a landslide, results of the final tabulation by Congress show. (See tally)

Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay of PDP-Laban defeated Sen. Manuel Roxas II, ending the cliffhanger in the vice presidential race.

Aquino and Binay are scheduled to be proclaimed Wednesday at the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City.

A 50-year-old bachelor and economics graduate, Aquino will officially become the country’s 15th president on June 30. He will replace President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who ran and won a House seat after a turbulent nine-year rule.

Aquino’s victory reflected the public’s longing to fill a moral vacuum in a country plagued by corruption, poverty and violence. For many voters, it’s been nearly a quarter century of disappointment since his mother President Cory Aquino helped restore democracy in the country in 1986.

Aquino’s father, Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., was shot to death in 1983 while in military custody on the tarmac of Manila’s airport as he returned from US exile to challenge the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. The killing sparked the massive protests that led to Marcos’ downfall.

With little legislative record to speak of, Aquino has emphasized his clean public image.

His campaign was replete with poignant symbols of the 1986 revolt—yellow ribbons, pro-democracy anthems and raised hands flashing the L-sign for “Laban,” or fight in Tagalog, drawing huge crowds everywhere he barnstormed.

Campaign against corruption

Aquino has said he’ll make prosecuting corrupt officials a priority, in what would be a marked departure from the Arroyo administration, which is widely accused of turning a blind eye to graft to shield her political allies.

Ms Arroyo herself has been linked to massive corruption but has denied any wrongdoing.

“The problems I will be inheriting are still growing to this very day and, perhaps, to the last day,” Aquino told reporters on Monday, adding his incoming administration has to produce results in the first two years to meet the public’s high expectations.
For the Filipinos

The final tally on Tuesday came almost a month after the country’s first automated elections on May 10 and 12 days after the joint congressional committee started canvassing the votes manually for the top two elective posts.

“We have done this ... for the Filipino people,” Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile told a jubilant crowd before he and House Speaker Prospero Nograles banged the gavel to conclude the canvassing.

The committee did not bother to canvass the electronic results that were available on the first day it started the canvassing on May 27.

Lead of 5.7 million votes

With all the 278 certificates of canvass (CoCs) tallied, Aquino received 15,208,678 votes, a lead of more than 5.7 million over his closest rival. Former President Joseph Estrada got 9,487,837 votes.

More than 36.3 million votes for president were counted and about 35.2 million votes for vice president.

Binay was ahead of Roxas by more than 727,000 votes. Binay, running-mate of Estrada, received 14,645,574 votes, while Roxas, running-mate of Aquino, got 13,918,490 votes. (See tally)

Last COC

Binay won overwhelmingly in Lanao del Sur province, the last CoC to be canvassed. He got 144,203 votes, while Roxas garnered only 29,074 votes.

After the committee tabulated the last CoC from Lanao del Sur, Speaker Prospero Nograles said: “With the permission of the Senate, the secretariat of both the Senate and the House are directed to prepare the written report to be submitted for ratification (today) when the joint session reconvenes and resumes session.”

Nograles asked members of the canvassing panel to make themselves available to sign the committee report that will be the basis of the sponsorship speech.

Lapses, failings

Just before he and Nograles wrapped up the proceedings, Enrile said: “We thank you for your forbearance with our lapses, with our failings if we have any failings.”

Deputy Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II said the committee report and resolution to proclaim the winners would be voted on through “viva voce” in which lawmakers say “aye” or “nay.”

“(Individual members), however, can explain their votes,” Gonzales said.

He said Aquino and Binay had been advised to be in the vicinity of the Batasang Pambansa, where the House of Representatives is located, to wait for their proclamation while the joint session was tackling the committee report and the resolution.

Praise for Congress, Comelec

With their clients’ victories out there for all to see, lawyers of Aquino and Binay provided a happy note to the last day of the canvassing as they showered praise on lawmakers and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) for their roles in choosing the country’s next leaders.

Jose Anselmo Cadiz, who represented Aquino, praised Enrile and Nograles for the “discipline, authority and fairness” they showed as lawmakers canvassed votes.

Cadiz, speaking before the canvassing panels, also expressed his gratitude to the Comelec for the “fair, honest and orderly elections,” and to Smartmatic for its role in providing the technology for the automated polls.

Cadiz also noted that the system was not flawless, but Aquino was nevertheless left satisfied.

Binay’s lawyer Manuel Sanchez also lavished praise on Enrile and Nograles.

Sanchez noted that there were a lot of objections raised during the canvassing, as well as disagreements, conjectures and assumptions.

“But at the end of the day, when everything is said and done there was fair play, reason was allowed to prevail, and due process was observed,” he said.

Contrast

By contrast, the lawyer of Roxas painted a dismal picture of the polls, with several million Filipinos supposedly not having their votes counted.

Ronald Solis said Roxas had instructed his legal team to gather evidence and prepare a study on the filing of an electoral protest, which would be submitted to Roxas for consideration.

Villar

Placing third in the presidential race was Sen. Manuel Villar of the Nacionalista Party. He was followed by former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro of the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD.

Eddie Villanueva of Bangon Pilipinas and Sen. Richard Gordon of the Bagumbayan party placed fifth and sixth, respectively.

They were followed by environmentalist Nicanor Perlas, Sen. Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal and Olongapo Councilor JC de los Reyes of Ang Kapatiran Party.

Legarda

In the vice presidential contest, Sen. Loren Legarda of the Nacionalista Party placed third, followed by former Metro Manila Development Authority Chair Bayani Fernando of Bagumbayan.

TV host Edu Manzano of Lakas-Kampi-CMD came in fifth and former Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Perfecto Yasay, sixth. They were followed by broadcaster Jay Sonza and Dominador Chipeco of Ang Kapatiran Party.

Even before the canvassing of votes was officially over, political parties from all over Asia had already recognized the impending victories of Aquino and Binay.

Congratulations

In a statement dated June 7, the International Conference of Asian Political Parties congratulated Aquino and Binay and wished for a stronger democracy for the Philippines.

The statement was signed by outgoing Pangasinan Rep. Jose de Venecia Jr., the group’s founding chair, and Chung Eui-yong, the co-chair and secretary general.

Aquino’s historic rise to power has been largely attributed to his family name and strong anticorruption campaign.

His late parents are deeply revered figures for their opposition to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who was ousted in a 1986 Edsa People Power Revolution. With a report from Associated Press


Original Story: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20100609-274628/Congress-final-count-Its-Aquino-Binay

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