Comelec chief Sixto Brillantes will never allow a manual recount of even only the automated senatorial voting. He will do all to block it, from stunning his critics with the cost (“Pay up P200 million first”) to having presidential spokesmen speak for him (“We preferred to sweep the entire slate but we didn’t”). A manual recount is forbidden. For, it not only will confirm the statistically dubious 60-30-10 percent outcomes of winners and losers in all regions. It could also expose that there were more votes than voters. The discrepancy of votes and voters is the reason why both the precinct counting and the official canvassing were never completed. No politician is questioning for fear perhaps of the powerful Comelec, critics say. To recall, Brillantes on Election Day, May 13, declared a low 65-percent voter turnout, 33.8 million of the 52 million registered voters. It was only a midterm balloting, he said. The next day the seven Comelec commissioners convened as the national board of canvassers. Sluggishly they started with the advanced overseas votes, since undisclosed kinks were delaying the transmissions of local results to the central server. Then suddenly on Thursday, May 16th, they proclaimed six senators, and on Friday the 17th three more.
The Comelec proclamations were on the basis of only 72 of the 304 certificates of canvass (CoCs), or 23.7 percent. The 72 CoCs represented only a little over 13 million ballots of the 52 million total voters and 33.8 million turnouts. Still, the Comelec insisted that the margins were too wide for the nine “winners” to be overtaken, based on “group canvasses” pouring in.
Experts decried the Comelec move as contrary to Constitution and law. Ignoring them, the Comelec proclaimed the last three senators on Sunday the 19th. By then, the Comelec had canvassed 129, or 42 percent, of the 304 CoCs. On the night of Saturday the 18th, it posted on its website the partial tally of the 33 senatorial candidates (see Table 1). It said the 304 CoCs contained 39,898,992 votes. That turnout wasn’t only 65 percent, but a hefty 77 percent, like in a presidential election (the turnout in 2010 was 74.34 percent). That partial tally stayed in the Comelec website for three weeks, till June 6.