Philippines declares victory of nine senators

May 15th, 2010 - 6:27 pm ICT by IANS  

Manila, May 15 (DPA) The Philippines’ election commission Saturday declared the victory of nine senators five days after national polls that used a new automated system.
Three other senatorial seats are to be determined after all the votes from the May 10 poll are counted, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said.

The commission declared the first nine winners after determining that their leads were already insurmountable. Five incumbent senators were re-elected.

The winners included Jose Estrada, son of former president Joseph Estrada, and Congressman Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Under the new election system, voters fed their ballots into vote-counting machines that transmitted the results electronically to central servers.

The presidential and vice presidential races have yet to be settled since only Congress can officially tabulate votes and proclaim the winners under the constitution.

House Speaker Prospero Nograles said Congress agreed to convene one week ahead of schedule May 24 to tally the votes.

“Our target (to proclaim the winners) is June 4,” he said, but added that Congress “will not sacrifice accuracy for speed.”

The likely next president will be Senator Benigno Aquino III, who is leading by about 5 million votes over his closest rival, former president Joseph Estrada, based on partial results.

Aquino has not claimed victory yet and Estrada has refused to concede the race as their running mates fight a close battle for the vice presidency.

Estrada’s running mate, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, was leading the partial count with some 800,000 votes over Aquino’s vice presidential candidate, Senator Mar Roxas.

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