Congress to start official canvass on Wednesday

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Ballot boxes containing certificates of canvass were delivered to the House of Representatives Tuesday morning (May 24) for the official counting of election results for the presidential and vice presidential race.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Philippine Congress formed a joint canvassing committee on Tuesday (May 24) to count the votes in the presidential and vice presidential elections before a joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives proclaims the winners.

The certificates of canvass (COC) and election returns from the provinces which will be used in the official count arrived at the House of Representatives early Tuesday (May 24).

The official canvass, which is expected to begin Wednesday (May 25), will be conducted by the joint canvassing committee composed of selected members of the Senate and House.

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel Jr. leads the Senate panel, while the House panel is chaired by majority floor leader Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales.

The landslide victory in the presidential race by Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the unofficial count by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) is not expected to be contested, unlike Rep. Leni Robredo’s narrow win over Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for the vice presidency.

Watch: PPCRV ends unofficial quick count

Gonzales said they hope that the canvassing would run smooth and fast with the electronically transmitted results, which will be counter-checked with manually counted certificates of canvass.

Police and soldiers provided tight security for the COCs and election returns as they were transported in military trucks backed by armored combat vehicles from the Senate in Pasay City to the Batasang Pambansa complex in Quezon City early Tuesday.

Troops guarded the trucks, and regional highway patrol units secured the route to Batasan, which was patrolled by K-9 units.

Legislative security personnel unloaded and inspected the ballot boxes before bringing them inside the session hall.

Poll watchers for Marcos and Robredo monitored the movement of the election returns and COCs. The official election documents will be guarded 24 hours a day until the official count is finished and the winners are proclaimed.

In addition to Gonzales, the House members in the joint canvassing committee include: Dasmariñas Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, Capiz Rep. Fred Castro, Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo, Cagayan De Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali of the majority. 1-Bap Party List Rep. Silvestre Bello III and San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora of the minority are also members of the House panel.

Joining the Senate panel are Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, and Ralph Recto from the Senate majority. Juan Ponce Enrile and Vicente “Tito” Sotto III represent the Senate minority. Sen. Sergio Osmena III, who helped Robredo in her campaign, is also a member of the panel.

Alternative members for the House panel are Pampanga Rep. Oscar Rodriguez and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya. Senators Cynthia Villar and Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito are the alternative members for the Senate panel.

CNN Philippines' Anna Estanislao and Pia Bonalos contributed to this report.

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