MANILA – The Philippine Commission on Elections (Comelec) postponed on Tuesday the announcement of results in last week’s mid-term legislative elections for the third time.
Partial results showed that allies of President Rodrigo Duterte were expected to have comfortably defeated opposition candidates.
At a press conference on Tuesday, James Jimenez, the spokesperson of Comelec, said that they were revising the vote count sent from Saudi Arabia and were still waiting for results from Washington DC, where some 200,000 overseas Filipino workers cast their votes.
The elections results were initially expected on May 17, but the announcement has now been postponed three times due to delays resulting from malfunctioning ballot counting machines.
Some 61.8 million Filipinos were eligible to vote in the elections to elect 18,000 public posts, including mayors, provincial governors and congress members, but the result with the most national interest is of the 12 senators who vying for seats in the Upper House.
According to the provisional count, Duterte’s allies have won nine of the 12 seats and the remaining three have gone to independent candidates, while the only opposition candidate with any realistic chance, Bam Aquino, is in 14th position with more than 98 percent of the vote cast.
Incumbent senator Cynthia Villar, a Duterte ally and wife of politician and businessman Manuel Villar, is leading the race for those 12 seats, ahead of Bong Go and former police chief, Ronald dela Rosa, who rose to prominence as one of the spearhead of the bloody anti-narcotics crackdown that started after Duterte took office in 2016.
Jimenez said that Comelec hopes to announce the final results within a couple of days.