40 senatorial hopefuls disqualified for May polls: Comelec spokesman

Christian V. Esguerra, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 07 2019 01:51 PM | Updated as of Jan 07 2019 05:40 PM

MANILA—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) has rejected the senatorial bid of more than 40 individuals, including those identified as “nuisance” candidates, its spokesman said Monday.

Director James Jimenez did not identify the disqualified aspirants, but said the final list of candidates, including those running for local positions, should be ready in time for the printing of official ballots by the end of the month.

“More than 40 have been disqualified ... for the Senate race,” he told reporters.

The number of party-list groups seeking to join the May polls was down from 185 to 168 as of Monday, Jimenez said. 

The Comelec initially set a Dec. 15, 2018 deadline to clean up the list of candidates, but had to move it pending resolution of various petitions.

The poll body’s law department alone sought to deny the candidacies of 95 senatorial aspirants deemed as “nuisance,” mainly for supposedly lacking the financial capability to run a nationwide campaign.

Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III is also facing petitions, which insist he could no longer seek reelection in May.

The senator, they argue, is serving his second and final term, having first assumed the post following a successful election protest in 2011.

The Comelec’s campaign finance office also sought the perpetual disqualification for former Sen. Sergio Osmeña III for allegedly twice failing to submit his campaign expense reports for 2010 and 2016.

“We’re only waiting for the certificate of finality for the decisions that have been released by the Comelec,” Jimenez said.