FIRST OUT OF THE GATE: It’s official. Vice-President Jejomar and Sen. Gregorio Honasan were among the first to file their certificates of candidacy on Monday, October 12, as UNA's presidential-vice-presidential tandem for the 2016 elections.
Binay, Honasan and close supporters were among the first to enter the Commission on Elections office in Intramuros, Manila after it opened at 8 a.m. Among those who accompanied them to the Comelec office were Binay's children, Junjun and Nancy, and former Tarlac Governor Margarita Tingting Cojuangco.
Also among the first to file their COCs were ex-senator Panfilo Lacson, Ely Pamatong and representatives from Anakpawis.
The filing of COCs by Binay and Honasan ends month of searching for a running-mate for Binay, who is the first politician to announce his plan to run for president in next year's polls.
Last week, Honasan was a no-show at the UNA launch in Cebu, fueling rumors that the senator would back out from the race.
On Monday, Honasan said he skipped the Visayas event because he was busy with his tasks of strengthening and organizing UNA.
He told ABS-CBN's "Umagang Kay Ganda" that he was not forced to run for vice-president.
"Ang pinilit ko ay yung pamilya ko. Ang sabi nga sa akin ng anak ko: 'Papa, pinanganak ako wala ka. Bininyagan ako, wala ka. Nag graduate ako high school, wala ka. Nag 18 years old ako, wala ka. Ngayon na napakarami ka nang atraso at malapit na kitang patawarin, malapit na tayo maging friends, sasabihin mo magpapaalam ka na aalis ka sa piling namin,'" he recalled.
"Nauunawaan nila na this is a sense of duty. I am a good soldier. I am the result of the process that the party went through," he added.
Honasan also dismissed questions asking if he feels slighted that he is the party's last choice for Binay's running-mate. Binay earlier wooed several individuals to be his running-mate including Senators Grace Poe and Bongbong Marcos, businessman Manny Pangilinan and even Pag-IBIG head Darlene Berberabe but all turned him down.
"I do not have the luxury of an ego. I do not have a stariray complex," Honasan said.
He said his platform as vice-president is to produce more jobs for Filipinos, eradicate poverty and security for the entire country.
The Commission on Elections, meanwhile, reprimanded members of the media on Monday for their disorderly conduct at the start of the period for the filing of certificates of candidacy at the Comelec office in Intramuros, Manila.
Comelec chairman Andres Bautista said some members of the media violated certain regulations in their haste to capture footage of the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs).
Bautista said the poll body designated an area outside the Palacio de Gobernador where candidates may entertain questions from the media after filing their COCs. Journalists, however, failed to follow the rule as Vice President Jejomar Binay and running mate Senator Gregorio 'Gringo' Honasan II filed their respective COCs.
"What would happen before is once a candidate files a certificate of candidacy, immediately, media would pounce on him or her. What we did was to look for a place at the back where the media and the candidate could have a proper interview area," Bautista said.
"But unfortunately, some of the cameras here did not follow instructions and again, they immediately tried to get footage."
Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez also reportedly scolded photographers and cameramen for their disorderly conduct at Binay and Honasan's scheduled press conference after the COC filing. The group pressed against the barriers of the designated area, took up space for the candidates and thus delayed the conference.
The Comelec earlier urged candidates to limit the entourage they will bring inside the Comelec office. The candidates' supporters may instead view the COC filing through a live feed which will projected on two widescreens outside the Comelec office, Bautista said.