Marcos insists on separate canvassing of votes for VP

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(File photo) The unofficial count by the Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) showed that Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. lost to Rep. Leni Robredo in the vice presidential race by about 200,000 votes.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – A legal adviser of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said Wednesday they will demand a separate canvassing of the votes for president and vice president by Congress.

Watch: Walkthrough: Canvassing process

“We will still insist that there should be a separate canvassing on the vice president,” former Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sixto Brillantes, told CNN Philippines on Wednesday (May 25).

Brillantes said nothing in the canvassing rules approved on Tuesday (May 24) says the votes for president and vice president cannot be counted separately.

Also read: Lawmakers lay down rules for canvassing of votes

“There was just a discussion there but there was no amendment that says it was prohibited,” Brillantes said. “So it can be reiterated during the committee and these will be taken up again and we will try to see how the committee will rule.”

He added some of the members of the canvassing committee might agree with their position at the start of the canvassing on Wednesday.

The unofficial count by the Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) showed that Marcos lost to Rep. Leni Robredo in the vice presidential race by about 200,000 votes.

Robredo’s camp: Cheating claims insult to Robredo supporters

Marcos said the results were doubtful because an unauthorized script, or computer command, was introduced into the server used by the PPCRV to count the votes. Comelec chairman Andres Bautista has said the script was meant to change a character in the name of some candidates and did not alter the results.

Related: Is it possible to rig automated elections?

Brillantes said a certificate of canvass (COC) for the president and vice president may be counted as one but is actually comprised of two pages and can therefore be treated as two separate documents, “so we can really ask for (a separate canvass).”

House Majority Floor Leader Neptali Gonzales II, who heads the House panel in the joint canvassing committee, has said there is only one COC for president and vice president, and the joint session of the Senate and the House of Representatives did not approve a move by Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, Marcos' campaign manager, to amend the rules to give way to separate canvassing.

Marcos has alleged that there was massive vote-buying and possible manipulation of the unofficial count following the controversial new command entered in the Comelec’s transparency server.

Also read: Analyst: If you trust unofficial presidential tally, why doubt VP results?