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Drum rolls, fiery exchanges mark Day 2 of COC filing

/ 08:20 PM October 12, 2018

Pro-Duterte supporters hold a mass action as the members of the Kabataan partylist hold their political rally in Manila. INQUIRER.net photo / Gabriel Pabico Lalu

The second day of filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) was another proof that elections in Philippines are not just a simple political affair but more of fiesta and circus.

Not only did senatorial aspirants and partylist candidates submitted their COCs to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office on Friday, but they also brought a mood resembling Philippine festivities.

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After a quiet filing of COC by Senator Nancy Binay around 9:00 a.m., the fanfare began when former police chief Ronald dela Rosa formalized his senatorial candidacy under the ruling party, PDP-Laban.

As Dela Rosa was welcomed by his supporters, people from Gabriela Women’s Partylist accompanied by a marching band headed toward Comelec, presenting their own set of  candidates.

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READ: Bato arrives at Comelec main office to file his COC

READ: LOOK: Gabriela candidates march to Comelec

And as part of most festivities, fights do always seem to erupt.  It appears that members of Gabriela shouted at Dela Rosa while he was doing an interview, calling him a “berdugo” (executioner) in reference to his role in the government’s anti-drug war dubbed as Oplan Tokhang.

In return, his supporters cheered him on by shouting his and President Rodrigo Duterte’s name.

READ: Dela Rosa supporters, Gabriela engage in shouting match at Comelec

When it appeared that the noise had settled down, another colorful figure in Atty. Larry Gadon also went to the Comelec before 2 p.m., filing his COC as an official Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) and Lakas-CMD candidate.

READ: Gadon arrives at Comelec to formalize senatorial bid

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Gadon, who partly became famous for memes and video clips where he validates people by telling them that they are “bobo” (stupid), went with a couple of his supporters.  As Gadon was busy fixing problems with regards to his COC, a contingent from left-leaning ACT Teachers Partylist and Kabataan Partylist held separate rallies outside the Comelec premises.

While Kabataan was conducting their program, several pro-Duterte supporters as well as from the camp of Gadon tried to interrupt the program, with one even shouting Duterte’s name in the face of the group’s leaders.  Pro-Duterte rallyists were claiming that students should be grateful to the government for letting them study for free in state universities.

READ: Pro-Duterte group holds mass action in face of partylist members

Despite the festive and somewhat chaotic atmosphere, the Comelec said that the second day of COC filing is actually slow.  Only three notable senatorial cadidates in Binay, Dela Rosa, and Gadon (in order of arrival) submitted their forms.

Only four known partylists in Gabriela, ACT Teachers, Angkla, and Kabataan showed up.  All in all,  10 vied to become the next senator of the country, while 12 partylist groups filed their candidates’ COCs.

The submission of COCs started on Thursday, and will run until October 17, Wednesday, excluding weekends.  More personalities are expected to flock to Comelec in the last three days, including bets from both the administration and opposition groups. /jpv

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