MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is ready for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) beginning on Monday, October 1.
Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said the poll body is prepared to receive potential candidates as well as the media who will be covering the event.
“We’ve made provisions only for the candidates, the council and members of the immediate family which means supporters will not be allowed inside the facility,” Jimenez said.
This is to prevent candidates and their supporters from spending unnecessary amount of time inside the office.
“As much as possible, we want this to be a none event if that’s possible at all. Keep it as simple as we can. It should be very, very quick after all they are just going to submit their certificates of candidacy,” Jimenez said.
The Comelec said they will accommodate members of the media who would want to cover the event.
“In fact, we’ve prepared an area there after the filing they can be interviewed by all media. That's one of the challenges because the number of media outlets has ballooned in recent years. We have to accommodate everyone,” he said.
Jimenez said senatorial bets should officially file their election bid at the Comelec headquarters in Intramuros, Manila while all other candidates do so at their respective local Comelec offices.
Jimenez meanwhile admitted that the while the poll body urges all candidates to avoid premature campaigning, it cannot do anything if bets begin to campaign after they have filed their COCs.
“All of the acts prohibited of candidates will take effect only at the start of campaign period. Everything that is ‘bawal’ for candidates magiging bawal lang pag simula ng campaign period,” said Jimenez. -- ANC