The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has allowed the candidacy of a Bangon Pilipinas senatorial aspirant even though he was late in filing his papers because the poll body found merit in the reason he gave for his tardiness.
Israel Virgines, who filed his candidacy papers way past the 5 p.m. deadline on Oct. 5 because he claimed to have been caught in heavy traffic on his way to the Comelec office in Intramuros, brought to 33 the number of contenders in the 2013 senatorial elections.
“We heard the case two weeks ago. The en banc approved it today so we will now include him in the senatorial lineup,” said Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr. Tuesday.
The en banc voted unanimously to allow Virgines to participate in the elections, deeming reasonable his explanation for being late in filing his certificate of candidacy (COC) on the very last day of filing, said Brillantes.
He said the en banc did not have any qualms about approving Virgines’ petition as he is being fielded by a major political party.
Bangon Pilipinas was established by evangelist Bro. Eddie Villanueva, the leader of the Jesus is Lord evangelical Christian group. Villanueva twice ran unsuccessfully for president in 2004 and 2010.
“It’s a major political party so Virgines is capable of launching a nationwide campaign,” Brillantes noted.
In his COC, the 46-year-old Virgines described himself as an educator residing in Cavite.
He will be one of 33 senatorial candidates running in 2013, mostly from the administration-led Liberal Party and the United Nationalist Alliance.
The other parties fielding senatorial candidates in next year’s elections are the Makabayan and the Democratic Party of the Philippines. Jocelyn R. Uy; Fat Reyes, INQUIRER.net
Originally posted: 3:19 pm | Tuesday, December 4th, 2012