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Comelec gives Bong Go ‘special treatment’

/ 06:01 PM October 15, 2018

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has set the number of persons to accompany a candidate in filing his or her candidacy to only four companions.

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But the poll body apparently breached its own rule when Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) on Monday.

Go was accompanied by President Rodrigo Duterte as well as Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, former Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, presidential security personnel, and his supporters in the COC filing area.

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Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez admitted they gave special treatment to Go inside the Comelec premises.

“To the extent that special allowances had to be made, and considering the personalities involved, yes,” Jimenez said when asked if Go received special treatment in filing his COC.

Before Go’s camp arrived at the COC filing area, reporters were asked to vacate some seats reserved to the media to accommodate Go’s companions.

Asked why the Comelec did not interrupt when Go’s supporters entered the COC filing area, Jimenez said it could be because of the “emotions of the moment.”

“It had to continue. It would not be orderly if we interrupt in the middle of the proceeding,” he explained.

He also noted that the crowd was in the filing area “very smoothly and quickly.”

Jimenez further explained that some personnel had to attend to the security of the President.

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He said, however, that the Comelec would look into how the supporters were allowed to enter the Comelec premises despite the protocol. /kga

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