(UPDATE) Comelec disqualifies KBL presidential bet


Posted at Mar 04 2010 04:20 PM | Updated as of Mar 05 2010 08:13 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Thursday officially disqualified Kilusang Bagong Lipunan Kilusang (KBL) standard-bearer Vetellano Acosta from the presidential race.

Comelec Commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer said the poll body disqualified Acosta on the basis of his own pronouncements and the statement of KBL vice-presidential bet Jay Sonza that they do not support each other, and that Acosta is not supported by his own partymates.

He said the statements prove that Acosta cannot wage a nationwide campaign, which is a requirement for a presidential candidate.

Ferrer said Acosta was also quoted in one interview as saying that he will no longer campaign and join presidential debates, and that he would leave his candidacy to God.

Liberal Party (LP) standard bearer Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III earlier filed a petition before Comelec to declare Acosta a nuisance candidate.

The LP camp welcomed Acosta’s disqualification.

“Vetellano Acosta was obviously a nuisance candidate from the start. His vice-presidential running mate denies him, and the son of the KBL’s founder, Bongbong Marcos, doesn’t even know what he looks like. He has not shown himself capable of running even a local campaign, let alone a national one,” said Butch Abad, LP’s general campaign manager, in a statement.

The LP campaign manager however slammed the poll body for taking too long to exclude Acosta from the official list, especially since the printing of the official ballots for the May 10 elections is already in full swing.

“If the COMELEC did its research when the LP first filed its petition to disqualify Acosta, then Acosta would have been excluded in the printing of the official ballots. Now the damage has been done,” said Abad.

Still, Abad, said that they will formally ask Comelec to make an adjustment in the printing of ballots.

“Since according to the NPO [National Printing Office] only 9 million ballots have so far been printed, the LP will formally petition the Comelec to remove Acosta's name in the ballots sill to be printed and to re-print the 9 million ballots without Acosta's name,” said Abad in a text message.

Earlier this week, Comelec Chairman Jose Melo said that if it were up to him, he may just disqualify Acosta from the presidential race because he doesn't seem to be a serious candidate for president. (Read: Melo wants Acosta out of presidential race)  -- with a report from Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News