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Filing of candidacies start Friday—Comelec

Posted on: November 19, 2009

Filing of candidacies start Friday—Comelec

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 17:21:00 11/19/2009

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Politics, Inquirer Politics

MANILA, Philippines – Prospective candidates in the 2010 elections can start filing their certificates of candidacy this Friday, November 20, at the offices of the Commission on Elections nationwide, officials said Thursday.

The Comelec will accept CoCs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until November 30 and from 8 a.m. to 12 midnight on December 1, Commissioner Rene Sarmiento told INQUIRER.net.

But Sarmiento urged candidates to stop campaigning or holding partisan political activities within this period, Sarmiento said.

The early filing is part of preparations for the automation of the 2010 elections, specifically in the printing of special paper ballots that will contain the pre-printed names of local and national candidates. Each ballot can contain 600 names and will contain ovals opposite the candidate’s names that will be shaded by the individual to indicate a vote, said Sarmiento.

The official stressed the Supreme Court ruling in Penera vs Comelec where Penera was disqualified as a candidate for “premature campaigning” or holding of campaigns right after the filing of his CoC.

Sarmiento urged poll bets to follow the campaign schedules, specifically the 90-day campaign period for national candidates set from Feb. 9 to May 8, 2010 and for local candidates from March 26 to May 8, 2009.

“Under Penera ruling the prohibition of holding partisan political activities or campaigning outside the campaign period, any of the candidates, voters or association of persons cannot campaign for or against any candidate who has filed his CoC. The law has been clear on this so we appeal to our candidates to remove their infomercials over radio, TV or billboards after they filed their CoCs,” said Sarmiento.

“Under election laws, those who will be guilty of the election offense premature campaigning can be disqualified for the position that they would run for,” added Sarmiento.

Sarmiento said that unlike elective officials, an appointive officer including members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and government-owned corporations, shall be considered automatically resigned upon filing of CoCs.

Prospective candidates for president, vice president, and senator should file their CoCs at the agency’s project management office (PMO) at the ground floor of Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros. Members of the legal department will receive and record the CoCs for national candidates from November 20 to midnight of December 1, said the poll official.

Partylists should file their manifestations of intent to join the party list system of representation at the Comelec Secretariat on the eighth floor, he added.

Those who will run for members of the House of Representatives should file CoCs with the office of the National Capital Region regional election director, city election offices and the office of the provincial election supervisor (OPES). CoCs for local positions in cities and municipalities should be filed with the city and municipal election officer concerned, said Comelec legal chief Ferdinand Rafanan.

Candidates for all positions except president must accomplish their CoCs in five copies and swear before a notary public or any official authorized to administer oath and must contain required data. Candidates for presidential positions must accomplish their CoC forms in 12 copies, said Rafanan.

To facilitate order in the CoC filing, Rafanan urged candidates not to bring too many supporters because Comelec offices would only receive the candidate, immediate family, and lawyer for processing the CoCs. Supporters should only wait outside the Comelec building.

Comelec will also coordinate with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to register candidates who will file CoCs as withholding tax agents of their campaign expenses under Revenue Resolution 8-2009. Comelec will accommodate BIR representatives who will setup booths for registration of candidates as tax agents, said Rafanan.

Revenue Regulation No. 8-2009 issued by the BIR in October subjected “all expenditures and income payments, which are made by candidates, contributors or donors to suppliers for purposes of campaigns” to creditable withholding tax of five percent, said BIR officer-in-charge Joel Tan-Torres.

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