Photo by Joel Leporada/Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – Only 3 guests can accompany each national candidate when politicians file their certificates of candidacy (COCs) at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) from October 12 to 16.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista announced this new rule in a media briefing on Tuesday, October 6, as the poll body expects a “deluge” of politicians in the Comelec headquarters in Intramuros, Manila.
“Going back to our second objective of enhancing the voting process, we are also trying to enhance the filing process for the certificates of candidacy,” Bautista said.
The Comelec chairman, however, said there will be no sanctions for politicians who will break this new rule.
Bautista said the Comelec “will try to strictly implement” this new requirement.
When asked why the Comelec will just “try” to implement this instead of doing it 100%, Bautista said in jest: “May mga gusto tayo minsan sa buhay na hindi natin nakukuha (There are some things in life that sometimes we cannot get).”
Lounge for waiting candidates
Still, Bautista said the Comelec will do its best “to make sure that order is maintained.”
Based on previous elections, the filing of COCs could sometimes become a circus, with candidates posing for photos and granting interviews. Nuisance bets also make their own scene at the Comelec.
Bautista, who is keen on giving the Comelec a clean image, decided to implement other changes in the filing of COCs.
One of these is to designate a separate venue for interviews, away from the area where candidates file their COCs.
Another is to set up a lounge for candidates waiting for their turn.
The Comelec is also installing screens for supporters who want to watch their candidates, but cannot join them inside the Comelec because of the 3-guest limit.
These supporters, however, join candidates in the filing of COCs precisely for the photo opportunities inside the Comelec. – Rappler.com
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 email@example.com.