Comelec moves to junk 96% of presidential bets

Paterno Esmaquel II
Comelec moves to junk 96% of presidential bets
The Comelec is set to subject 125 of 130 presidential bets to a series of hearings, to decide if they can run in May 2016

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) law department on Wednesday, October 21, moved to disqualify 96% of persons who filed certificates of candidacy (COCs)  for the 2016 elections.

Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez confirmed that the Comelec law department filed cases motu proprio, or on its own, to disqualify 125 candidates who filed COCs from October 12 to 16.

These 125 candidates will then be subject to Comelec hearings to assess if they will be considered nuisance bets.

If the Comelec decides to finally disqualify them, only 5 candidates will be left to vie for the presidency.

Rappler is still trying to reach the Comelec’s law department for the preliminary list of eligible candidates in 2016.

The leading candidates for 2016 include Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Grace Poe, Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, and former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II.

Earlier, the Comelec said the list of 130 COC filers for president is a record breaker.

The Comelec said aside from the 130 who filed COCs for president, 19 candidates filed COCs for vice president, while 172 did for senator.

“I think, rather, that this is a symbol or a representative of a vibrant democracy, where more people feel empowered to cast their vote and to put themselves forward as candidates,” Jimenez said. – Rappler.com

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Paterno Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II, news editor of Rappler, specializes in covering religion and foreign affairs. He obtained his MA Journalism degree from Ateneo and later finished MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at pat.esmaquel@rappler.com.