MANILA, Philippines – From “Archangel Lucifer” to “Kuya P,” dozens of so-called nuisance bets have trooped to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to file their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the highest positions in the land.
Most of them have presented out-of-this-world platforms, such as legislating 4 seasons in the Philippines, but some of them echo a deeper yearning to lead the country despite being ordinary.
The Omnibus Election Code defines a nuisance candidate as someone who files a COC “to put the election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed, and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate.”
Most candidates, as of Tuesday, have laid platforms that could have “put the election process in mockery or disrepute.”
One of them, Arturo Pacheco Reyes, told reporters on Monday that he wants to lead “an exodus to the promised land of tomorrow.”
He is also proposing a law to have the 4 seasons of winter, spring, summer, and fall in the Philippines. (Watch Reyes in the video below)
Reyes said: “I also like to legalize the 4 seasons, so that we can adjust with the 4 seasons of the winter, spring, summer, and fall of America, so that we can get rid of the rainy and dry season.
“And finally, I’d like the American dream to happen to all, to become a reality,” he said.
Clean and honest
An old man named Alejandro Ignacio, who was the 18th person to file a COC for president, wanted something different.
Ignacio on Monday, October 12, spoke at a podium used by the likes of vice-presidential bet Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr at the Comelec office in Intramuros, Manila.
Referring to poverty in the Philippines, a teary-eyed Ignacio told reporters in a speech, “I believe nobody can solve this problem except an ordinary citizen like me, because I am very clean and honest to run the government.”
He added, “I am appealing to all media: Please help me to stand alone, to protect 100 million Filipinos now suffering in hunger and poverty.”
“Maawa po kayo sa ating bayan,” he said. (Have mercy on our country.)
(Watch Ignacio in the video below)
In a long-sleeved shirt with a dark necktie, senatorial bet Alexander Bautista spoke on the same podium on Monday, and said he wants to reform the Social Security System or SSS.
On Tuesday, October 13, chemical engineer Victor Quijano said he plans to implement a federal system of government.
Another candidate named Romeo John Reyes, whose nickname is Archangel Lucifer, took the stage.
He said his “master” chose him to lead the Philippines.
Democracy at work
Many election watchers complained that the Comelec shouldn’t entertain these bets in the first place. They said the Comelec should instead focus on the “more serious” candidates like Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Grace Poe, and former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II.
The Comelec, however, said it is giving these persons a chance to prove they should not be considered nuisance bets.
Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez on Tuesday said the filing of COCs is “a manifestation of democracy.”
“Mas maganda, mas mainam, at mas regular ‘yung bibigyan mo muna ng pagkakataon ‘yung taong marinig ang kanyang kaso bago mo siya husgahan,” Jimenez said in a news conference.
(It is better, more appropriate, and more regular to give a person the opportunity to let his case be heard before we judge him.)
“Makikita mo ba ‘yung buong talambuhay ng tao sa isang kapirasong papel? Makikita mo ba ‘yung buong kakayanan niya base sa nakalaman sa isang kapirasong papel? Siyempre hindi,” Jimenez added.
(Can you see the whole life of a person on a piece of paper? Will you see his capabilities based on what a piece of paper contains? Of course not.) – Rappler.com