COMELEC HALTS BOL VOTE COUNT FROM COTABATO DUE TO DISCREPANCIES
MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc, sitting as the National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers (NPBOC), on Thursday suspended the canvassing of votes for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) from Cotabato City.
The session was suspended when Chairman Sheriff Abas ordered the Tabulation Committee to get the COCs and supporting documents for the tabulation results after Commissioners Luie Guia and Rowena Guanzon raised discrepancies on the number of voters.
“After which, these documents will undergo audit to ensure corrections of the tabulation and addition,” Abas told reporters.
Guia noted the inconsistency in the “Yes” votes numbering to 36,682 and “No” votes with 24,994, as these figures do not match the written number of actual voters in the COC.
“The total number of voters who actually voted reflected in this document says 39,027. But if you total the votes obtained by yes and no, it would certainly be more than 39,027,” he added.
On the other hand, Guanzon said the Statement of Votes (SOV) only shows 22,507 “No” votes.
“Looking at the COC for ‘No’ votes, it states that there are 24,994… then you are lacking around 2,400 votes,” she added.
For his part, Cotabato City acting Election Officer Romel Rama explained that the errors came from the incomplete entries in the plebiscite returns submitted to the City Plebiscite Board of Canvassers by the Plebiscite Committees (PlebCom).
Also on Thursday, the NPBOC received COCs from Isabela City and the province of Basilan.
Only the COC from Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) has yet to arrive in Manila.
The NPBOC will reconvene at 2 p.m. on Friday. (PNA)
Photo by Noel Celis/AFP/Inquirer