Comelec eyes guidelines on nuisance candidates

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Oct 14 2015 04:58 PM | Updated as of Oct 15 2015 08:27 AM

Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista talks to ABS-CBN reporters and desk editors during a roundtable discussion. Photo by Fernando G. Sepe, Jr. for ABS-CBNnews.com

MANILA - The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is set to release guidelines on nuisance candidates and a list of prohibited acts during certain phases of elections.

Speaking to reporters yesterday, Comelec chairman Andres Bautista said the poll body decided that it will come up with an FAQ (frequently asked questions) on how aspiring bets are declared nuisance candidates.

As of the end of the second day of filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs), 37 aspirants have expressed their intention to run for president, 7 for vice president, and 25 for senator.

Bautista said the number of aspiring presidential candidates this year is higher than the usual. He admitted that this may be trimmed down.

“Karapatan naman ng isang mamamayan na mag-aspire for higher office, pero kailangan natin iyan ibalanse sa karapatan na magkaroon ng maayos na halalan,” he said, adding that the law requires that the “elections not be made a mockery or placed in disrepute.”

Meanwhile, Bautista said the Comelec is also set to release a list of prohibited acts during certain phases of the elections.

“We want the Comelec to come up with a memo as to what acts are allowed and disallowed from the filing of certificates of candidacy up to January 10 which is the start of election period,” he said.

He said another list of prohibited acts will be released for the election period, which starts on January 10.

The Comelec is also preparing for its presidential and vice-presidential debates. There will be three presidential debates, one each in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The Mindanao debate will be held on February 21, Visayas on March 20, and Luzon on April 24.

The vice-presidential debate will be held on April 10 in Metro Manila.

Bautista said the presidential debates will be conducted in various formats: panel format for the Visayas, moderator format for Mindanao, and town hall format for Luzon.

He added the Comelec is also studying whether to add more vice-presidential debates, given the number of candidates for the post.

Meanwhile, Bautista said the Comelec also projects some 53 to 54 million registered voters in the upcoming polls. He said the final count of the registered voters will be made on November 19.