Lawmakers lay down rules for canvassing of votes

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The official canvassing of votes to determine the next president and vice president of the country is set to start.

Related: Congress to start official canvass on Wednesday

On Tuesday (May 24), Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr. sat down with CNN Philippines chief correspondent Pia Hontiveros to discuss the rules that will govern the canvassing of votes, the race for House speakership, and the announcements of the appointments for the next Cabinet.

Related: Congress convenes to canvass presidential, vice presidential votes

Drilon clarified that the National Board of Canvassers "could not look beyond the certificate of canvass."

He clarified this, saying, "In practical terms, no one can get the elections returns from the precinct level be produced in order to compare whether or not, indeed, what appears on the provincial canvass would reflect the votes cast in a precinct."

Belmonte said, "Technically speaking, we are starting the process of canvassing the votes but, for today, it will be more or less the organizational phase of it."

He added, "First of all, we will convene jointly the senators and the House of Representatives. We're all sitting down there but we are still, jointly but separately, acting on voting separately. Now, I think our principal business here is to approve the rules for the canvass...and, number two, we will have to designate the canvass committee both for the Senate side and the House side."

Belmonte said he has designated the Majority Floor Leader Rep. Neptali Gonzales II as the chairman of the House Canvass Committee.

He said, he believed the Senate counterpart would be Sen. Koko Pimentel.

Watch the full interview with Senate President Franklin Drilon and House Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte Jr. on News.PH, Wednesday (May 26), 9:30 p.m. on CNN Philippines.