The Commission on Elections (Comelec) en banc, sitting as the National Plebiscite Board of Canvassers, said the canvassing of votes in the second round of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) plebiscite is taking longer than expected due to the number of COCs or certificates of canvass.
The Comelec adjourned on Tuesday without finishing the canvass of votes.
“Considering the reports of the working group, it is clear we cannot finish the canvassing and audit today. I think we have to declare a reset and we will reconvene tomorrow (Feb.13) at 2 p.m.,” Comelec and NPBOC chair Sheriff M. Abas said.
NPBOC Secretary Consuelo B. Diola said they were already able to complete the canvassing of the COCs for the municipalities of Aleosan, Carmen, Tulunan, and the province of Lanao del Norte.
Meanwhile, she said they have to yet complete the processing of the COCs for the North Cotabato municipalities of Kabacan, Midsayap. Pikit, and Pigcawayan.
It only took four working days for the NPBOC to complete the canvassing of the first part of BOL plebiscite on Jan. 21, which covered the provinces of the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), Cotabato City, and Isabela City.
Two of the days were spent waiting for the four consolidated COCs, while the remaining two days were spend for the actual canvassing.
For the second part of the plebiscite, the NPBOC is tasked to canvass 8 COCs. The COCs for the seven municipalities from North Cotabato contain separate COCs from 67 barangays.
Further complicating the matter are the discrepancies in the number of records of Comelec and the figures contained in the submitted COCs.
But as of Tuesday, the NPBOC said the identified discrepancies to have any significant impact on the outcome of the plebiscite.