Comelec cancels COC of presidential bet Valencia

Mara Cepeda
Comelec cancels COC of presidential bet Valencia
But another lesser known candidate, Mel Mendoza of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, remains a presidential candidate

MANILA, Philippines – “The magnificent 7.”

This was how Commission on Elections Chairman Andres Bautista described the remaining 7 presidential candidates as he announced on Thursday, January 28, that the Comelec en banc decided to uphold an earlier decision declaring Dante Valencia as a nuisance candidate.

Tatanggalin na. Pito na lang…. Baka ‘yun na ‘yun, so the magnificent 7,” Bautista told reporters. (We’re going to remove his name. There will probably be just 7, so the magnificent 7.)

In a resolution released Thursday, the Comelec en banc assessed that Valencia failed to show sufficient proof that he could mount a nationwide campaign. 

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

His name was included in the Comelec’s draft ballot along with the following:

  • Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay 
  • Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago
  • Davao Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte
  • Romel “Mel” Mendoza
  • Senator Grace Poe
  • Former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II
  • OFW Family Representative Roy Señeres

The Comelec’s first division first declared Valencia a nuisance candidate on December 4, 2015. Ten days later, Valencia filed a motion for reconsideration, which the Comelec en banc denied. 

Valencia may opt to go to the Supreme Court and ask for a temporary restraining order, similar to what Poe did when the poll body decided to cancel her certificate of candidacy (COC).

Valencia’s name, however, remains in the draft ballot until the Comelec finalizes the list of candidates by February 3. (READ: Comelec’s ballot printing delayed again)

Mel Mendoza remains a candidate

Meanwhile, Bautista said the Comelec en banc decided to retain the candidacy of Mendoza even if he is a relatively unknown candidate. 

This is because Mendoza is the presidential candidate of Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino, the party of former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.

“’Yun ang naging pasya ng en banc, ‘no? So, kumbaga, pinagdebatihan ‘yan. Ang pananaw ay hindi lang dapat ang partido, pero tinitingnan mo rin ‘yung mga personal na katangian ng isang kandidato,” said Bautista.

(That was the decision en banc so it was debated upon. The view is that you do not only look at the party but also the personal characteristics of a candidate.) –

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.