The filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for the 2019 polls will not be extended beyond October 17, Commission on Elections (Comelec) chairman Sheriff Abbas said Friday.
“No, we won’t allow [an] extension,” Abbas said at a press conference.
The Comelec has initially scheduled the filing of candidacy from October 1 to 5, but it was moved to October 11 to 12 and October 11 to 17 to give Congress enough time to focus on deliberations on the proposed P3.75 trillion budget for 2019.
Based on Comelec records, at least 32 people have so far filed their COCs of 2:04 p.m. of Friday, Day 2 of the filing of candidacy. On the other hand, 22 individuals have filed their candidacy in the party-list elections.
As this developed, Abbas also announced that the Comelec en banc is scheduled to discuss disputes on who are bonafide members of political parties and deliberate on the proposal of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) to disqualify candidates linked to drugs and included in a "narco list" that these agencies had provided the poll body.
“We will have a hearing on October 18 [on the disputes on party members of political parties], and we will be giving notice to parties involved. And commitment namin ay mabilis itong madedesisyunan para di ma-confuse ang mga kandidato,” Abbas said.
“Ang DILG at PDEA, they have the same prayer: na madisqualify ‘yung mga nasa listahan. This will be up for further study of the Comelec law department kasi kailangan mo balansehin eh. Dapat may due process. Hindi mo basta puede i-disqulify dahil lang nasa listahan,” Abbas added.
Under the Omnibus Election Code, a candidate is only deemed disqualified if he or she has been: declared insane or incompetent by competent authority or sentenced by final judgment for subversion, insurrection, rebellion or for any offense for which he or she has been sentenced to a penalty of more than 18 months or for a crime involving moral turpitude.
Senators Francis Pangilinan and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, president of Liberal Party and PDP-Laban, respectively, earlier said that that disqualifying candidates based on a narco list which can be manipulated would be illegal.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez has also said earlier that aspirants can still withdraw their candidacy from October 18 to November 29 regardless of reason. — MDM, GMA News