THE 12 winning senatorial candidates may be proclaimed by Wednesday afternoon, while some party-list winners may be announced a day later, according to an election commissioner.

“Our plan is to proclaim this Wednesday afternoon the 12 winning senators,” Election Commissioner George Erwin M. Garcia told a televised news briefing in Filipino on Monday. “On Thursday Afternoon, we are hoping to proclaim some party-list candidates who have guaranteed seats.”

As of Monday noon, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) as the National Board of Canvassers had counted 159 of 173 certificates of canvass, or about 91%  of the total, he said.

The Comelec full court has to validate 14 certificates, 11 of which are manual overseas ballots that take longer to deliver. Mr. Garcia separately told reporters in a Viber message election results from Hong Kong were expected to arrive by 4:00 pm on Monday.

Comelec would probably proceed with the proclamation despite the upcoming special elections in Lanao del Sur since the results from the region were unlikely to affect the outcome, he said.

Last week, Comelec said it would hold special elections in some areas in the southern Philippine province after a failure of elections was declared in several municipalities due to violence and irregularities.

Mr. Garcia said Comelec would continue the vote canvassing even after proclaiming the winners so that votes would not be left out regardless of their impact on the official tally.

The proclamation ceremony would be held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City, Comelec spokesman John Rex C. Laudiangco told a separate briefing.

He earlier said Comelec would hold the elections in Lanao de Sur on May 24. He said each winning senator may bring as many as five companions to the event, while party-list groups are allowed two representatives. 

Meanwhile, the Senate had received 74% or 128 of 173 election certificates and returns for president and vice-president as of Monday morning, it said in a statement.

It took delivery of local certificates and returns from the provinces of Quezon, Isabela, Mountain Province, Lapu-Lapu City, Davao del Norte, General Santos City, Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato. Overseas absentee voting certificates from India, Lebanon and Italy have also arrived.

The Senate and House of Representatives are expected to convene in a joint session on May 24 to canvass the votes for the 2022 presidential and vice-presidential elections.

Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III has said the new president and vice-president could be proclaimed by May 27 or 28. — John Victor D. Ordoñez and A.N. O. Tan