MANILA—The second day of the Commission on Elections’ (Comelec) candidacy filing period started off muted then eventually turned into a spectacle with no less than President Rodrigo Duterte showing up.
KAPA FOUNDER WANTS SENATE SEAT
Among first filers Saturday was Joel "Pastor" Apolinario, founder of Kapa-Community Ministry International, a religious group accused of orchestrating one of the Philippines' biggest investment frauds.
Currently detained over syndicated estafa charges, Apolinario, through his representatives, filed a certificate of candidacy (COC) for senator.
Apolinario's emissaries refused to identify themselves to media, but read a prepared speech highlighting their principal's campaign promises.
At noon, Victoriano Inte, 67, who is aiming for the presidency, gave an impassioned speech about how the current administration disregards human life.
"Tokhang, tokhang, tokhang . . . Buhay is important. If he (Duterte) is serious about solving the drug issue, he should stop the laboratories from producing the drugs," said Inte, who listed no occupation in his COC.
Inte, who hails from Bohol, said if elected president, he could bring the Filipinos' lives back to normal, and businesses will thrive again. For him, the pandemic is an "act of god," saying Mama Mary already warned him about it in a dream in 2015.
TULFO'S VIEW OF THE PHILIPPINE JUSTICE SYSTEM
The first high-profile filer of the day was veteran TV and radio broadcaster Ramon Tulfo, known for his public service program that aims to provide instant resolution to people’s woes, a brand of "justice" criticized over its alleged circumvention of a more institutional "due process."
Tulfo is running for senator in a bid to "fix" the legal system that he said has always been tilted against the poor.
"Sa loob ng higit 2 dekada ko sa public service na nakakaharap ang mga kapos-palad, madalas kong napapansin na sa mga laban, palagi silang nadedehado at nalalampaso pag makapangyarihan ang kanilang nababangga," he said.
"Kaya madalas nating naririnig sa kanila: hindi patas ang batas."
According to Tulfo, the flawed legal and justice systems motivated him to seek a seat in the legislature.
"Nakikita ko kasi na nagkakaroon ng limitasyon ang ginagawa kong pagtulong. Meron mga batas na pumpigil sa'kin na magbigay ng tulong. O walang batas para magkaroon ng mas malawak na pagtulong. O mga batas na hindi na napapanahon, kailangan amyendahan," he explained.
Tulfo, one of Philippines' biggest content creators, is "confident" his subscribers will vote for him and secure him a Senate post.
ESTRADA VS ESTRADA ANEW
Former Sen. JV Ejercito also filed a COC to formalize his bid to return in the Senate in 2022.
Ejercito will go head to head again with half-brother Jinggoy Estrada following their twin defeats in 2019 that brought down their political dynasty.
Ejercito, who wants his ballot name to appear as "JV Estrada," acknowledged clashing with his brother again is "challenging," but felt it was his duty to run and serve.
The former senator said he would bank on his "clean public service record," an apparent "shade" at his brother who is still on trial over plunder charges related to the scandalous pork barrel scam.
BONG GO STUNS WITH VP BID
By mid-afternoon, the Comelec tent in Sofitel was enveloped by the anticipation of the President's arrival, who was initially expected to file his candidacy.
But his longtime aide, Sen. Bong Go, stole the show when he showed up with Duterte and filed a COC for vice president under the divided PDP-Laban.
Go said he stepped in after Duterte "withdrew" his acceptance to the PDP-Laban's nomination to be their VP bet.
According to Go, if elected, he would be a "working" vice president.
"Hindi ako magiging spare tire o reserba lamang. Asahan ninyo na ako ay totoong magtatrabaho. Hindi lang sa salita, kundi sa gawa," he said.
After Go's speech, Duterte took the stage to throw his support to the senator's 2022 endeavor.
The chief executive then announced his "retirement from politics," a pronouncement he also made in 2015 before he backtracked to run for president.
"In obedience to the will of the people . . . I now say sa mga kakabayan ko: Sundin ko ang gusto nyo. Today I announce my retirement from politics," he said.
Overall, Comelec at 5 p.m. announced there were 16 submissions on the second day of candidacy filing: 1 for president, 1 for vice president, 5 for senator, and 9 for partylist.
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