Presidential bets Mendoza, Valencia in draft ballot

Paterno Esmaquel II
Presidential bets Mendoza, Valencia in draft ballot
The Comelec also includes Grace Poe and Rodrigo Duterte in the draft ballot, as expected, even as they face disqualification cases

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday, January 21, released the initial list of presidential candidates on the ballot for the May 9 national and local elections.

Eight presidential candidates made it to the draft ballot published on the Comelec’s website on Thursday.

Of these candidates, 3 personalities, who do not often make it to presidential preference surveys, made it to the Comelec’s initial list.

These relatively unknown candidates include the following, in alphabetical order:

  • Romel “Mel” Mendoza
  • Roy Señeres
  • Dante “Don Dan” Valencia 

Señeres has long been discussed as part of the official ballot. The names of Mendoza and Valencia, on the other hand, had not been floated before.

Mendoza, who wrote “assistant project officer” as his job, is the presidential candidate of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, the party of former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

Señeres, a lawyer and former ambassador, is running under the Partido ng Manggagawa at Magsasaka. He is now a congressman representing the party-list group OFW Family Club.

Valencia, a civil engineer and networker, is an independent candidate.

Poe, Duterte in ballot

At the same time, the initial list included the following known presidential candidates, as expected, in alphabetical order: 

  • Jejomar “Jojo” Binay
  • Miriam Defensor Santiago 
  • Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte
  • Grace Poe
  • Manuel “Mar” Roxas II

The Comelec on Wednesday, January 20, confirmed that Poe will remain on the ballot if the Supreme Court does not rule on her disqualification cases by February 1.

On Thursday, the Comelec also released an initial list of vice-presidential bets on the ballot. These candidates include the following, in alphabetical order:

  • Alan Peter Cayetano
  • Francis “Chiz” Escudero 
  • Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II
  • Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr
  • Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo
  • Antonio Trillanes IV 

Nuisance candidates 

The Comelec’s official lists of candidates – including those running for senator and other positions – is accessible through this link.

The poll body said its initial list is “subject to editing,” and has been published to allow candidates to check it. Requests for correction should be made by January 21, the Comelec said.

The Comelec added, “The list is subject to the outcome of the various cases/issues pending before the Commission.”

The initial list comes after a record-high number of 130 Filipinos filed certificates of candidacy for president in October 2015.

Eventually, the Comelec cut the list to 8 after classifying most of the initial bets as nuisance candidates. 

One of the nuisance bets is broadcaster Rizalito David, whom the Comelec said has no money to mount a national campaign.

The SC affirmed the Comelec in declaring David a nuisance. –

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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