Rey Anthony Chiu
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, January 17, 2013 (PIA) –The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in several en banc sessions, and considering the legal department’s earlier screenings, trims the list of senatorial aspirants from 85 to 32 in a matter of three months.
Among those whose names were stricken off the list were Boholano senatorial aspirant Severo Maluenda Jr. from Nahawan Clarin and 53 others who tried their lucks in a bid for senate seat were nipped in the bud by the Comelec move.
To the heave of relief of millions of voters who needed to go through the long list of candidates, the Comelec move is a welcome respite.
As to the propriety of staving off less-deserving candidates, Bohol Election Supervisor Atty. Eliseo Labaria assured that everyone underwent due process before being delisted.
“Not one among those who have been declared nuisance is denied of the due process to defend themselves,” Labaria said at the recent Kapihan sa PIA Thursday.
According to the Omnibus Election Code (OEC), the Commission may, motu proprio or upon a verified petition of an interested party, and after due notice and hearing, refuse to give due course to or cancel a certificate of
candidacy, if it shown that the certificate of candidacy has been filed to put the election process in mockery or disrepute.
Here, the candidate can be declared nuisance.
Or, Atty. Labaria said, if the filing of a candidacy is to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates; or when the reason for filing the certificate of candidacy is to obtain money, profit or any other consideration, or when the reason for filing is to discredit another candidate, he can be declared nuisance candidate.
The provincial election supervisor also explained that if the candidate clearly shows he has no bonafide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filled and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate, then a nuisance candidate can be determined.
Listed as capable of being voted upon as senators are Ricardo Penson (independent), Samson Alcantara (Social Justice Society), Greco Antonious Beda Belgica (Democratic Party of the Philippines), Baldomero Falcone (Democratic Party of the Philippines) and Christian Señeres(Democratic Party of the Philippines).
The Adminsitration party also fielded Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV, former Las Pinas City Rep. Cynthia Villar, Former Akbayan Rep. Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros-Baraquel, Former Senator Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal, Former Senator Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV and Senator Aquilino Martin Pimentel III.
From the United Nationalist Alliance, the senatorial line up include Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay, Margarita “Tin-Tin” Cojuangco, former Senator Richard “Dick” Gordon, Former Senator Ernesto Maceda, Former Senator Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, San Juan City Rep. Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, Zambales Rep. Maria Milagros “Mitos” Magsaysay, Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce “Jack” Enrile Jr and Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan.
The Comelec also allowed green lighted the candidates of LP and UNA to run for Senate: Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) chair Grace Poe-Llamanzares, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, and Senator Loren Legarda.
Other official senatorial candidates include: John Carlos De Los Reyes, Marwil Llasos, Rizalito David, Former Philippine Constabulary chief Ramon Montaño, Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn and Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Teodoro “Teddy” Casiño. (30)