Postponing COC filing to delay ballot printing, warns Comelec spokesman


Posted at Sep 11 2018 08:52 AM

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MANILA - A proposal by lawmakers to postpone the filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for next year's elections could delay the printing of ballots, the spokesperson of the Commission on Elections warned Tuesday.

Both chambers of Congress on Monday adopted resolutions urging Comelec to push back the deadline of COC filing by a week, to October 11–17 from October 1–5.

The Comelec sets the COC filing in early October because it needs ample time to screen out nuisance candidates, print out ballots and distribute these across the country, said commission spokesperson James Jimenez.

All these activities will be rescheduled if the filing of COCs for the May polls is postponed.

"Definitely malaking epekto niyan kasi uurong lahat ng activities. Parang domino iyan e, 'pag itinumba mo iyung isa, tumba lahat," he said in a radio DZMM interview.

(That will have a big effect because all activities will be pushed back. That will have a domino effect; postpone one, the rest follows.)

"By the end of the year masasara na natin [dapat] ang balota. Ibig sabihin wala nang changes. Pero 'pag inurong natin iyan... baka Enero na, nag-iimprenta pa tayo."

(By the end of the year, we should be closing the ballot, meaning there should no longer be any changes. But if we defer the COC filing, perhaps we would still be printing ballots by January.)

Aside from the local and national elections, the Comelec also needs to prepare for the January 21 plebiscite for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law, Jimenez noted.

The Comelec will tackle the proposed COC filing postponement when its en banc meets on Wednesday, he said.