Over 600 hopefuls seek House seats

By Sheila Crisostomo, The Philippine Star

Posted at Oct 23 2012 07:37 AM | Updated as of Oct 23 2012 09:26 PM

MANILA, Philippines - More than 600 individuals have filed certificates of candidacy to seek a seat in Congress in next year’s elections, with 18 of them running unopposed, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said yesterday.

Records at the Comelec showed that of the 640 aspirants, 153 belong to the administration-backed Liberal Party coalition, 54 come from the Nationalist People’s Coalition and 40 from the United Nationalist Alliance.

The 18 running unopposed are Representatives Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte, Manny Pacquiao of Sarangani, Josephine Lacson-Noel of Malabon, Ma. Theresa Bonoan-David of Manila, Marcelino Reyes of Marikina, Jose Christopher Belmonte of Quezon City, Maria Rachel Arenas of Pangasinan, Dakila Cua of Quirino, Enrique Cojuangco of Tarlac, Joseph Gilbert Violago and Joseph Francisco of Nueva Ecija, Joel Roy and Isidro Rodriguez Jr. of Rizal, Reynaldo Umali of Oriental Mindoro, Gerald Anthony Gullas of Cebu, Maria Carmen Zamora and Rommel Amatong of Compostela Valley, and Erple John Amante of Agusan del Norte.

The Comelec is scrutinizing close to 300 applications for accreditations of party-list groups. Each group has five nominees to seek 20 percent of seats in the House of Representatives.

The Comelec is targeting to release the names of the qualified candidates by December as the printing of ballots will start in January.