Comelec trims presidential bets from 15 to 11
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has trimmed the number of presidential candidates from 15 to 11 as of Thursday, a day before it is expected to release the final list of those vying for the country’s highest post on May 9.
Among the front-runners are Vice President Leni Robredo and former Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Also on the list are Senators Manny Pacquiao and Panfilo Lacson, Manila Mayor Francisco Domagoso, labor leader Leody de Guzman, former presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella, former Defense Secretary Norberto Gonzales, Gerald Arcega, Faisal Mangondato and Jose Montemayor Jr.
Those who did not make the cut are Hilario Andes, Danilo Lihaylihay, Edgar Niez and Maria Aurora Marcos, whose exclusion would make Marcos Jr. the lone presidential candidate bearing the surname.
The Comelec is expected to release the final list of candidates on Jan. 7 although it has yet to resolve several cases questioning Marcos Jr.’s eligibility to run due to his tax evasion conviction.
VP candidates still 9On the other hand, the number of vice presidential candidates remains at nine—Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, Buhay party list Rep. Lito Atienza, Dr. Willie Ong, Walden Bello, Rizalito David, Manny Lopez and Carlos Serapio.
As for senatorial bets, the Comelec has trimmed their number from 70 to 64.
Among those running are reelectionist Senators Richard Gordon, Sherwin Gatchalian, Risa Hontivero and Leila de Lima; former Senators Francis Escudero, Jinggoy Estrada and Loren Legarda; lawyer Chel Diokno; former Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat; former Defense Secretary Gibo Teodoro; and former Vice President Jejomar Binay.
The poll body is targeting Jan. 15 as the start of the printing of ballots, with the campaign period to officially kick off on Feb. 8 for national candidates and March 25 for those running for local posts.
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