Comelec mulls P1-M bond for candidatesBy Philip C. Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines – To deter nuisance candidates from making a circus out of elections, Commission on Elections Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. is toying with the idea of requiring candidates to post a P1-million bond.
In an interview, Brillantes said that if these candidates failed to get a certain number of votes, the bond will be forfeited.
“I was thinking before that we should require those who file … certificates of candidacy [to] also file a bond,” Brillantes said. “It’s just a small amount… maybe P1 million. Maybe then noisy ones would go away…. This will prevent the nuisance candidates.”
Brillantes raised the suggestion after 84 men and women—many of them mouthing outlandish claims and proposals—filed certificates of candidacy for the senatorial elections next year.
“If they don’t get the required number of votes, their bond will be forfeited. If they do, then it’s okay. That means they’re not nuisance candidates,” he said.
However, Brillantes insisted this suggestion was still just a “mere idea” and if ever implemented, it would have to be in elections after next year’s.
“I’m still thinking about it but it can’t be applied now… in the next elections probably,” he said.
Brillantes noted that running for public office was a “matter of right” especially if the aspirant meets the criteria set by the Constitution.
“You cannot charge a fee. Running for public office is a matter of right. You cannot prevent anybody. If we charge fees, we would be haled to court. Anybody who is qualified can run and file a COC,” he said.
Of the 84 aspirants for the Senate, only 27 candidates were deemed qualified to run in the May 2013 elections after an initial Comelec review.
The remaining 57 senatorial aspirants were asked to attend a hearing on October 18 and 19 to determine if they were indeed legitimate candidates.