Campaign slogan can’t be a nickname on ballot – ex-Comelec exec
A FORMER commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has questioned the inclusion of the term “Daang Matuwid” in the names of administration standard-bearer Mar Roxas and his running mate Leni Robredo on the official 2016 ballot.
Citing election rules, former Comelec commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal said the Liberal Party candidates cannot use the administration slogan as their nicknames.
“The rules are specific. Sec. 4 of Rule 2 of COMELEC Resolution No. 9984 which practically copied Sec. 2 of COMELEC Resolution No 8678, which provided the guidelines for the filing of Certificate of Candidacy for the 2010 elections, the first nationwide automated elections in the Philippines,” Larrazabal wrote on his Twitter account.
“An aspirant may include one nickname or stage name by which aspirant is generally or popularly known in their locality; Provided that, no aspirant shall use the nickname or stage name of another. Only one nickname or stage name shall be considered,” he said.
Roxas’ official name on the ballot was “Roxas, Mar Daang Matuwid (LP),” while Robredo was “Robredo, Leni Daang Matuwid (LP).”
But Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said other candidates had the same opportunity to choose the nickname that will appear on the ballot.
“Re: Daang Matuwid, karapatan ng kandidato—alam nila ito lahat—na ilagay sa COC (certificate of candidacy) ang gusto nilang Twitter account,” Jimenez said on his Twitter account.
As to the circulating photo of a ballot with a yellow highlight on the names of Roxas and Robredo, the Comelec said it may just be a sample ballot, which is allowed but unofficial.
Larrazabal, now legal counsel of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, also engaged in an online word war with LP spokesperson and Akbayan Rep. Barry Gutierrez regarding the administration bets’ nicknames.
“Hey @barrygutierrez3 do you know the difference between a campaign slogan and nickname, or you just lack common sense?” Larrazabal tweeted. “Read you elections laws and COMELEC resolutions. Be informed.”
Gutierrez responded by posting a photo of the ballot the Comelec approved when Larrazabal was still commissioner.
“Take another look at the ballot you approved as a Comelec Commissioner. ‘Gets Ko’? ‘Promdi’? ‘Lisa Maza ng Gabriela’? Oh-kay,” he said.
The Comelec had already finished printing the ballots for the May 9 polls last week.
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