Comelec spends thousands to accept COCs

MANILA, Philippines – To accept certificates of candidacy (COCs) for 2016 polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) spent thousands of pesos for a set-up that includes a platform, a custom-made podium, signboards, and tarpaulins in its main office in Intramuros, Manila.

The set-up includes borrowed LCD screens, sponsored by Samsung.

In a news conference, Bautista said the Comelec spent “a few hundred thousand pesos” for this set-up, excluding the LCD screens. He did not specify the amount. 

Hindi naman gano’n kalaki,” he said. (It’s not that big.)

Bautista then referred to borrowed items like the Samsung LCD screens, one of which is found outside the venue for COC filing, along with a Samsung stand.

Marami po dito, pinahiram sa amin,” he said. (Many things here have been lent to us.)

‘Ministerial’ duty for Comelec 

Bautista, who used to run Shangri-La hotels and resorts in the Philippines, said he didn’t know how much the Comelec spent in the COC filing week in the last elections, held in 2013. He became Comelec chairman only in May this year.

Back in 2013, the Comelec had no platform, signboards, and LCD screens during the COC filing week.

It is also unclear how much the Comelec really needs for COC filing. Bautista, after all, said accepting COCs is a “ministerial” duty for the Comelec.

The Comelec’s set-up, meant to ensure order in COC filing, has led to more chaos. (READ: COC filing: ‘Orderly’ set-up backfires at Comelec)

On Monday, at least 20 presidential aspirants trooped to the Comelec to file their COCs.

The initial list of presidential aspirants as of 5 pm Monday, October 12, includes Vice President Jejomar Binay, former TESDA director general Augusto Syjuco Jr, twice-disqualified presidential candidate Ely Pamatong, and a slew of other independent candidates, including a tricycle driver and a pastor. –



Paterno R. Esmaquel II

Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at