Filipinos in UAE give mandate to opposition
Posted by Admin on May 24, 2007
By: MARIECAR JARA-PUYOD, Gulf Today: 5/21/2007
FILIPINOS in the UAE went for the 7:4:1 in favour of the opposition in the recently-concluded month-long overseas absentee voting that will help determine who, among 37 candidates will be serving their country as senators until 2010.
This was gleaned from the results of the certificates of canvass (COC) posted at the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi for two days last week.
Consul General for Abu Dhabi and Al Ain Maria Theresa Taguiang said the public viewing for 48 hours of the second of six copies of the COC results is a requirement and a provision in the Commission on Elections (Comelec) guidelines.
“It is being transparent and part of the democratic process,” she told The Gulf Today on Wednesday.
The COCs are the election returns from all polling precincts.
Sources said that among 3,602 who cast their votes from April 14 to May 14, they chose Sen. Francis Pangilinan (independent) 2,763 votes; losing 2004 vice presidential candidate Loren Legarda (Genuine Opposition), 2,492; Sen. Manuel Villar (GO), 2,297; Camarines Norte Rep. Francis Escudero Jr. (GO), 2,285; Tarlac Rep. Benigno Simeon Aquino III (GO), 2,362; Sen. Ralph Recto (Team Unity-administration), 2,267; Sen. Joker Arroyo (TU), 1,976; Sen. Panfilo Lacson (GO), 1,976; Taguig City Rep. Allan Peter Cayetano (GO), 1,832; former Sen. Edgardo Angara (TU), 1,613; Malacanang spokesman Michael Defensor (TU), 1,541; and Aquilino Pimentel III (GO), 1,474.
Another two opposition as well as administration candidates namely Bukidnon Juan Miguel Zubiri (TU), 1,411; Sonya Roco (GO), 1,336; former Sen. Vicente Sotto III (TU), 1,212; and munity leader Antonio Trillanes Jr. (GO), 1,170; were trailing along with independent candidate former Sen. Gregorio Honasan, 1,266.
The COC results from the UAE just like from all the other 80 Philippine posts around the world and those from the Philippines are still unofficial.
Taguiang who was designated the Comelec Special Board of Canvassers chairman for the UAE left for Manila on Thursday evening to deliver the COC results to the Comelec National Board of Canvassers stationed at the Philippine International Convention Centre (PICC) in Pasay City where all COC results worldwide and from all over the Philippines shall be tabulated.
She took the Abu Dhabi-Manila direct flight to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City where a Comelec team met her and escorted her to the PICC.
In a country where fraud and ballot snatching are among the controversial issues during the election period, Comelec made sure that people in charge of all elections paraphernalia take direct flights as well as given tight security.
It will be the Comelec which will proclaim the official winners probably in a week or two.
For transparency purposes, two groups have been authorised to conduct unofficial tallying. These are the AMA chain of computer schools and the National Movement for Free Elections (Namfrel).