Tolentino's TRO petition denied; 12 senators proclaimed

Tolentino's TRO petition denied; 12 senators proclaimed

Francis Tolentino's petition for a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the proclamation was denied by the Supreme Court, as the proclamation of the 12 senators push through today, May 19th at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Commission of Elections (Comelec) and the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) proclaimed the 12 winning senators today, May 19th at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC) in Pasay City.

Earlier reports that the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) may have to go through some last-minute changes were squashed after Francis Tolentino, 13th placer in the Senate race, petitioned to block the proclamation of the last three winning senators has been denied.

Tolentino's TRO petition denied; 12 senators proclaimed

(Photo credit: goodnewsmanila.blogspot.com)

Tolentino, on his request, asked the Supreme Court last Wednesday to stop Comelec from announcing the winners in the 10th to 12th slots of the senatorial elections. He reasoned that the unauthorized change in an election hash code compromised the entire automated election system (AES).

In an earlier announcement, Comelec chairman Atty. Andres Bautista revealed that the poll body sitting as the National Board of Canvassers (NBOC) will proclaim all 12 winning senators today but he assured they will obey a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the high court, if it comes.

"Simple lang po ang pananaw namin diyan. Kung may lumabas po na TRO, e di susundin namin pero kung wala, e magpapatuloy po kami ng proclamasyon mamayang alas-3 ng hapon,"

(We think this is a very simple process. If a TRO is released, then of course we will follow it, but if there won't be, then we'll push through with the proclamation later at 3pm.)

Tolentino had written a 10-page petition, claiming that May 9 election was jeopardized when the election technology provider Smartmatic altered the script of the Comelec transparency server in the evening of the election day, without prior consultation or approval from Comelec en banc.

Smartmatic has admitted to the alteration, but insists that it was merely a "cosmetic change" they performed when it was discovered that the letter ñ in the candidate's names was represented with a "?". Nevertheless, the alteration was a breach in protocol because it was not authorized by Comelec en banc.

Tolentino suggested that the high court order Comelec to open the AES, in order to perform a forensic audit and to determine the extent of the unauthorized change in the script.

Leila de Lima apparently garnered a lead of around 1.2 million votes over Tolentino.

RELATED: Senators, partylists proclamation: LIVE BLOG

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