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Poll body OKs lawyer’s bid for president

Posted on: November 23, 2009

Poll body OKs lawyer’s bid for president

By Anna Valmero
First Posted 13:37:00 11/23/2009

Filed Under: Politics, Elections, Eleksyon 2010

MANILA, Philippines—The legal department of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday accepted the candidacy for presidency of a lawyer and rejected the bids of two others for lack of documents.

Valeriano Dante Reloj, 48, from Sta. Ana, Manila, said his professional experience as a lawyer for 15 years, would enable him to “promote and uphold justice” in the country when he becomes president.

“I have dreamed to become president since I was young. I ran for several positions before and although I have not won in previous elections, I am positive that I am capable to conduct a nationwide campaign,” said Reloj, who is the 15th prospective candidate for president on the fourth day of the filing of certificates of candidacy.

After him, Oscar Pusing, who claimed to be the chairman of the National Commission of Indigenous People, and Enrique Sadiosa, who said he will fight corruption using his 15-point program, were told to complete their documents first before filing their CoC.

Sadiosa said his platform includes raising the wages of civil servants, allocating government money for education, health and infrastructures, and a strong ID system. He added he is open to receiving a monthly salary of P1 per month, which would be placed in a public bank account for public audit, and to auctioning all bribes given to him.

In a separate interview, Comelec legal chief Ferdinand Rafanan said his department will submit to the en banc the names accepted to run for national positions five days after the deadline of CoC filing on December 1.

After the submission of names, hearings will be conducted to separate serious from nuisance candidates who want to mock the system, cause confusion among voters, do not intend to win, and have no capacity to hold a nationwide campaign, he said.

Rafanan said that it is the constitutional right of every Filipino to run for office provided they satisfy the requirements.

Emotional visit

A 78-year-old economic scientist turned emotional and teary-eyed when he told reporters Monday that the poll body was “unfair” when it disqualified him from running for president as well as his senatorial slate in previous elections.

Jose Ocampo, who filed his candidacy for presidency in the 1987, 1992, and 1998 elections but was later disqualified, stormed the Comelec legal department on Monday morning, seeking an assurance that he would not be disqualified when he manifests his presidential bid in next year’s elections.

“Money is the solution to the problem of the Philippines. Money, not Manny Pacquiao, will solve poverty. We should distribute the wealth in the national treasury,” said Ocampo.

He showed to the media a newspaper dated March 19, 1987 containing the senatorial slate of Emancipated Scientists, his party again in 2010.

“You need the scientists but you are not giving us the chance to help the country,” said Ocampo.

The Comelec legal department said Ocampo secured a copy of the form for presidential candidates in the 2010 elections but did not specify when he would file.

For president, Senate

Since Friday, the Comelec approved 14 candidacies for president, one for vice president, and three for senator.

Rigoberto Madera, who identified himself as a “Messiah” and a member of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, was the first prospective candidate for president that filed his CoC at 8:40 a.m. Friday.

Other qualified candidates for president are: lawyer Oliver Lozano, 69, of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan; Vetellano Acosta, 52, a financial consultant; Daniel Magtira, 49, a barangay (village) chairman in Tondo; retired teacher Ernesto Balite, 64, from Bulacan; Sultan Min Balad Villaflor, 52, from Negros Occidental; Wendell Hanopol Lope, 34, who claimed he was cheated in the 2004 elections; Gilbert Garcia, a quantum physics instructor from Biñan, Laguna; Vicente Fabella, 46, of Oriental Mindoro; Peter Peligrino, 70, a retired teacher; Carmelo Carreon, 63, an insurance agent, Eduardo Fernandez, 58, businessman; masseuse Josefina Murillo, 56, from Quezon City; and Noel Aguirre, a former overseas Filipino worker from Jeddah and an advocate against corruption and for economic stability

Meanwhile, Victorino Inte, 55, a political science graduate from Loboc, Bohol, was the first to file his CoC for senator and was approved, followed by Micomi-i La-Lawquero, who claimed to be Metro Manila’s House representative and a majority floor leader from 2007 to 2008 and Eduardo Sion, 67, who claimed to be nominated by Senior Nazareno party.

Alicman Usodan Ali, 38, a businessman from Manila, was first to have his candidacy for vice president approved on Sunday afternoon.

Candidacies for local and national positions may be filed until midnight of December 1.


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