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Comelec reiterates rules on nuisance candidates

/ 12:22 PM October 15, 2015

Asked about the high turnout of people wanting to seek top national posts, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday reiterated its provisions on “nuisance candidates.”

Citing the Omnibus Election Code, Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez told the media that the poll body has the authority to reject the certificates of candidacy (COC) of individuals who fall under three categories:

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  1. Those who make a mockery of the election system;
  2. Those who seek to confuse voters through similarity of names between candidates; and
  3. Those who have no bona fide or good faith in running for office.

“Pasok diyan ‘yung mga nakikita nating kandidato na, who, I supposedly feel fall outside of reasonableness,” Jimenez said.

(These would include candidates who, I suppose, fall outside of reasonableness.)

Jimenez said the Comelec’s evaluation process is “not that simplistic.”

“Obviously there is a tendency to dismiss candidates outright. But we have to actually hear them and decide on the basis of that hearing whether or not they will be considered nuisance candidates,” he added.

Jimenez also stressed that the tag “nuisance” is not actually being attached to the candidates themselves, but to their “potential for a meaningful campaign leading to a reasonable expectation of victory.”

“There are also some questions to the ability of the candidates to conduct national campaigns. Nuisance refers to the candidacy, not the individual—’yung kandidatura na makakagulo lamang sa kabuuang proseso (the candidacy that would disrupt the whole process),” Jimenez said.

In a media briefing on Wednesday, Jimenez also said the acceptance of COCs is a “ministerial” process, adding that the poll body could not screen aspirants at that level.

As of Oct. 15, 10:50 a.m., Jimenez said 60 aspirants have filed their COCs for president, 13 for vice president, 61 for senator, and 70 for party-list groups.

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The filing of COCs, now on its fourth day, will run until tomorrow, Oct. 16. CDG

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TAGS: aspirants, candidates, Certificate of Candidacy, Comelec, Commission on Elections, Elections 2016, James Jimenez, Nuisance, Omnibus Election Code
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