MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) reminds election candidates to file the latest version of certificate of candidacy (COC) as the official filing opens on Thursday (October 11).
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said they want to ensure a peaceful, fast and orderly filing of the COC for individual candidates and the certificate of nomination as well as certificate of acceptance of nomination (CONA) for party-list.
For this reason, the poll body advised the candidates to double check their COC as the latest version may be downloaded from the agency’s website www.comelec.gov.ph.
Atty. France Arabe, Director 3 of the Education and Information Department of the poll body stressed that candidacy will be nullified if the candidate will not fill out the proper version of the COC.
Meanwhile, security remains tight at Palacio del Gobernador, Comelec’s main office building in Manila. Those entering the building are screened very carefully.
The agency makes sure that they implement strict rules on the number of candidates and supporters entering the Comelec building.
First to file their respective COCs were Senator Koko Pimental and singer Freddie Aguilar.
The former Senate president said he preferred an early filing because he will be busy preparing for his wedding with partner Kathrina Yu set next week.
He calls on his party-mates in PDP-Laban to wear red when filing their COC.
“Ito ang aming campaign color PDP-Laban. Pakiusap ko sa mga kapartido (ito) dahil ang red is the revolutionary color. PDP entertains radical ideas, out of the box solutions to problems,” he said.
Singer Freddie Aguilar, meanwhile, said he was moved by his advocacy songs and so he decided to run in the elections.
“Dahil po sa aking mga advocacy ng aking mga kanta for 40 years sa kagutuhan ko po ng pagbabago pati ako na walang hilig sa pulitika ay tumakbo na,” Aguilar said.
Meanwhile, former Pangasinan Mayor Abner Afuang, who was supposedly third to file at Palacio del Gobernador, needed to repeat the process because he used the old version of the COC.
The Comelec again reminds election candidates to make sure they input, with all honesty, all the necessary information into the proper and updated version of the COC to avoid hassles and delays in filing. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Aiko Miguel and Nel Maribojoc)