(UPDATE) The Commission on Elections postponed the announcement of candidates who bagged Senate seats pending the transmission of election returns.
"We are cancelling the proclamation of Senate winners tonight," Comelec chairman Sixto Brillantes, Jr. said in a briefing.
The poll body has not decided on a new timeline for the proclamation, he added, even as he noted that some winners may be named Thursday night.
"We may proclaim tomorrow night, but we are not sure whether [the results] will be partial or not," Brillantes said. The poll chief has earlier vowed to name candidates who bagged Senate seats as early as 48 hours after polling closed last Monday.
As of Wednesday afternoon, however, the Comelec en banc, sitting at the National Board of Canvassers, has tallied only 16 of the 304 certificates of canvass nationwide.
Signal troubles may have caused delayed transmissions in some areas, the poll chief said in an earlier press briefing said. "We don't want to proclaim with all of these hanging," Brillantes said, even as he noted that they could decide to name one or two winners.
The poll chief added Comelec is coming up with new resolutions to facilitate the transmission of results from local boards of canvassers.
Elections Commissioner Elias Yusof, in a separate interview, noted that tight contests for local positions may also be causing delays.
Boards of canvassers in provinces and highly urbanized areas may not be able to forward election results to the NBOC pending the proclamation of in the local race, he said.
The NBOC has also suspended the canvass of votes for party-lists to avoid delays that may be caused by concerns over the inclusion of disqualified groups.
Former censors chief Grace Poe-Llamanzares led Comelec's latest partial and official count, which showed nine Team PNoy bets and three United Nationalist Alliance candidates in the top 12.
The United States has asked for access to Philippine military bases in eight locations to rotate troops, aircraft, and ships as Washington shifts its forces to Asia and as China expands its military presence in the South China Sea. U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, in a speech in Arizona, has outlined Washington's next phase in its Asia "pivot", deploying its most sophisticated destroyers, bombers and fighters to the region. The Asia "pivot" has already seen U.S. Marines rotating through the …