By Leslie Ann Aquino
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has started the process of trimming the number of senatorial aspirants for the May, 2019 midterm elections.
A total of 152 individuals filed their COCs for senator from October 11 to 17.
But Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzonexpects that more than 100 will be eventually disqualified.
“We have authorized the Law Department to motuproprio file petitions to declare nuisance candidates. Just to start the process, they are filing motuproprio petitions,” said Guanzon.
“In other words, they don’t have to wait for a complaint to declare Mr. A, B, C, to be a nuisance candidate,” added Guanzon.
Under Comelec rules, the commission can file motuproprio cases to declare a candidate a nuisance candidate.
Those who could be declared as nuisance bets are those that filed their COCs 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 who, by other acts or circumstances is clearly demonstrated to have no bona fide intention to run for public office.”
Guanzon explained that the Comelec had to begin the process in order to come out with the official list of candidates by December.
“These are the processes that are now starting so that we can hit the target before December 15 and we can print the ballots,” she said.
“The last time, we disqualified more than a hundred. I suppose, this time, we will also (cut) more than a hundred for senator,” she said.
There were 172 COC filers for senator in the May, 2016, polls, but only 50 individuals made it to the official list of candidates.