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Perlas back in Palace race; Danny Lim also reinstated

By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 03:41:00 01/15/2010

Filed Under: Inquirer Politics, Eleksyon 2010, Elections

MANILA, Philippines?Nicanor Perlas is back in contention in the May presidential race after being declared a nuisance candidate.

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) Thursday overturned its previous decision disqualifying Perlas and five others from the national balloting after they gave proof that they had supporters and resources to wage serious campaigns.

Perlas, an independent running on an environmental and reformist platform, will be joined by Vetellano Acosta of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos?s party. This followed the party?s nomination of Acosta as its standard-bearer.

Largest no. of ?presidentiables?

The inclusion of Perlas and Acosta puts the number of presidential candidates at 10, the largest number of candidates in any presidential race so far in the country.

The Comelec also granted the motion for reconsideration of senatorial candidates retired Army Brig. Gen. Danny Lim, former Cebu Gov. Emilio Osmeña, Nanette Espinosa and Bangon Pilipinas? Adz Nikabulin.

In its 26-page resolution, the Comelec said Perlas had an ?existing organized group of persons throughout the country who volunteered to support his bid.?

Perlas claimed to have 24 million supporters on the Internet and had a detailed political platform.

Perlas, who was earlier disqualified for purportedly being a nuisance candidate, welcomed the ruling, saying it heralded a ?bright? future for Philippine politics.

Blessing in disguise

?The people are fed up with traditional politicians? who depend on money and connections to win votes, Perlas told reporters after the promulgation of the decision at the Comelec headquarters.

?This is a historical decision, a historical event. Money should not run our country, but quality and real vision,? he added.

Perlas said his disqualification was a blessing in disguise as the media coverage of the controversy introduced him to more voters.

?This clarifies the kind of politics wanted by the Filipino people. This is not just about money. This is about vision and hope, and that is what people are looking for,? Perlas said.

LP saves Lim drive

Lim, who was detained for his participation in the 2007 Manila Peninsula hotel siege where he and other soldiers called for change in the Arroyo administration, was admitted as a candidate after the Liberal Party (LP) told the Comelec that he was its guest candidate.

The LP?s adoption of Lim renders ?him capable, despite his incarceration, of waging a campaign sizeable enough to give him not only the possibility but also the probability of winning a senatorial seat,? the Comelec said.

Lim, who was at the Comelec Thursday, expressed confidence that his incarceration would not prevent him from winning.

The Comelec said Osmeña was not a political neophyte and that his experience as governor showed he could run a decent national campaign.

62 Senate bets

The commission also said Espinosa and Nikabulin had political parties to support them.

With the inclusion of the four politicians, the number of senatorial candidates increased to 62, out of the total 158 who filed their certificates of candidacy last year.

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