Comelec trims list to 6 VP bets


MANILA - The Commission on Elections is trimming the list of official vice-presidential candidates for the 2016 election to six.

Comelec Commissioner Christian Robert Lim said the poll body is looking at a list of 23 presidential candidates, six vice-presidential candidates, 68 senatorial bets and 119 party-list groups for the 2016 polls.

Comelec Chairman Andy Bautista, however, said he expects the final list of presidential candidates to be whittled down to a single digit.

He said some of the candidates who have been disqualified remain on the list since they have yet to receive the official Comelec order.

"It is still high because we have not been able to serve the decision to the candidates, some of whom live outside of Metro Manila. They are in far-flung provinces," he told reporters.

He said the six official vice-presidential candidates are: Congresswoman Leni Robredo, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Gregorio Honasan, Antonio Trillanes IV and Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr.

The poll chief did not comment on the Comelec en banc's final decision on the disqualification cases against Sen. Grace Poe, saying reporters can return at 2 p.m.

Bautista earlier confirmed that majority of the members of the en banc (full bench) voted to dismiss the motions for reconsideration (MRs) filed by Poe after the poll body's two divisions ruled to cancel her certificate of candidacy for president.

In an interview on dzMM's "SRO," Bautista only confirmed that members of the en banc voted on Poe's appeals but did not reveal how the commissioners voted nor say if they ruled to dismiss the MRs of the senator.

Bautista added that the commissioners may still change their minds.

The Comelec is expected to promulgate the decisions on Wednesday.

Bautista noted that disqualified candidates can still seek remedy by filing a motion for reconsideration or elevating the issue to the Supreme Court. "They have to get a [temporary restraining order] from the Supreme Court so that their names will not be removed form the list."

He also noted that ballot printing will begin on January 26, 2016 after the final ballot design is approved.

"The ballot used in 2013 was 27 inches long. We are hoping to reduce that," he said.