By Ferdinand G. Patinio
MANILA, Oct. 11 (PNA) — Thousands of politicians aspiring for national or local positions are expected to troop to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) offices nationwide to file their respective Certificates of Candidacy (COCs) as the five-day filing period starts on Monday, Oct. 12.
With this, Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista reminded national candidates and party-list groups that are going to file their COCs at the Comelec main office at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila that they will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Monday until Friday, Oct. 16.
He said that those who will run for president, vice president and senator, will be asked to go to the Project Management Office (PMO) located at the ground floor, where they will be assisted by Comelec personnel in filing their COCs.
After the filing, each candidate will be escorted to the interview area outside the PMO office, where they can share their platforms and take questions from the members of the media.
“After the filing of COC, the candidate concerned and the media may wish to conduct an interview in which case you can proceed to the interview place which it is at the back of the Palacio. You can engage your candidates in respect of questions…,” Bautista said.
A total of 18,069 positions from president down to local municipal councilor are up for grabs in the May 9, 2016 elections.
The national posts at stake are president, vice president and 12 senators.
In the local polls, the positions are as follows: 58 party-list representatives, 235 district congressmen, 81 governors, 81 vice governors and 772 members of Sangguniang Panlalawigan (provincial board members);
A total of 144 posts for city mayors, 144 city vice mayors, 1,610 city councilors; 1,490 municipal mayors, 1,490 municipal vice mayors, 11,924 municipal councilors; the governor for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); ARMM vice governor; and 24 ARMM assemblymen.
At the same time, Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez warned that they will strictly implement the three-companion rule per candidate to make the event as orderly as possible.
“We are just doing this to maintain orderliness and to immediately finish the process. We think that they can celebrate outside the venue but in the filing, let’s just do it for filing,” he said.
Candidates running for congressional seats in Metro Manila should submit their COCs to the Comelec-National Capital Region office, while aspirants for congressmen in the provinces as well as provincial officials should file their COCs with the office of the Provincial Election Supervisor (PES).
Those running as congressmen in independent cities, component cities and municipalities should file their COCs with the office of the city or municipal election officers.
For those aspiring for the ARMM governor and vice governor posts, they can submit their COCs to the office of the ARMM regional director, while those running for ARMM assemblymen will file their COCs with the PES.
Several politicians have earlier announced their bids for the presidential post. They are former Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II of the Liberal Party; Vice President Jejomar Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance; Senator Grace Poe running as independent; and OFW Family Club Party-list Rep. Roy Señeres.
Those who are running for vice president are Senators Francis Escudero, Alan Peter Cayetano, Antonio Trillanes IV and Ferdinand Marcos Jr., and Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo. (PNA)