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SC affirms Comelec: Poe nemesis a nuisance bet

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) affirmed the poll body in its decision to bar the presidential bid of Senator Grace Poe’s nemesis, Rizalito David, because he is a nuisance candidate.

The SC also said the Commission on Elections (Comelec) is right in declaring lawyer Elly Pamatong a nuisance bet as well.

David and Pamatong both ran to the SC to appeal the Comelec rulings that stopped them from running.

“The Court, uniformly, in Minute Resolutions, dismissed the petitions on the ground that the Comelec did not act with grave abuse of discretion,” the SC announced.

The Comelec cancelled David’s COC because, among other things, he has no proof “of his financial capability to run a nationwide campaign.”

David, a broadcaster, then slammed the Comelec for “adding another requirement” to run for president.

“‘If you don’t have the money, you can’t run.’ That’s what they’re saying: ‘You’re only a broadcaster, you have no capacity to launch a national campaign,” David said. 

David has filed petitions to disqualify Poe as senator and as president, saying she is not a natural-born Filipino citizen. 

Habitual nuisance bet

Pamatong, on the other hand, had been declared a nuisance candidate in the past.

Pamatong’s camp slammed the Comelec because it “sabotaged” his candidacy “for the third time.” 

The Omnibus Election Code defines a nuisance candidate as someone who files a certificate of candidacy “to put the election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed, and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate.” 

The Comelec disqualifies these nuisance bets even as the Constitution mandates “equal access to opportunities for public service.”

This is because, according to the SC, running for public office is a privilege, not a right. – Rappler.com