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Presidential candidates swell to 99 – Comelec

Posted on: December 2, 2009

Presidential candidates swell to 99 – Comelec

By Anna Valmero
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 19:32:00 12/01/2009

Filed Under: Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Politics

MANILA, Philippines – (UPDATE) On the eve of last day of filing for next year’s polls, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) has received 99 certificates of candidacy for president in next year’s elections at the close of filing Tuesday midnight.

Records from the agency’s legal department showed it has accepted 99 candidacies for president, 20 for vice president and 158 for senator since November 20. Meanwhile, the Comelec Secretariat has accepted manifestations of intent from around 300 party-list groups to join next year’s polls.

Among those who filed the CoCs on Tuesday were Gilbert Teodoro and actor Edu Manzano who are running as president and vice president under the Lakas-Kampi-Christian Muslim Democrats party; Senator Richard Gordon and former Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Bayani Fernando under Bagumbayan-Volunteers for a New Philippines; Senator Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal who is running an independent campaign for president, and former TV host Jay Sonza who filed his candidacy for vice president.

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. also filed his reelection bid while singer Imelda Papin also made official her bid for senator in the 2010 national polls. Gay rights activist and Ang Ladlad founder Danton Remoto also filed an independent bid for senator and enlisted his party-list with the Comelec Secretariat as another contender in the 2010 elections, pending their motion for accreditation to be tackled by the en banc.

Administration bets Teodoro and Manzano held a program with their supporters in front of the Comelec building in Intramuros prior to filing their CoCs in the morning. The party standard bearer said his group offers “total reform and continuation of programs under the proven leadership of Lakas-Kampi-CMD.”

Gordon and Fernando, who filed their bids in the afternoon, proved earlier reports that the two have teamed-up for next year’s elections. The tandem was formed only on Monday night, admitted Fernando, when he tried to persuade Gordon to get him as running mate.

Both are confident of launching a nationwide campaign and promise to usher “transformational politics” citing a strong track record of local leadership. Gordon was formerly in-charge of the Subic Bay Freeport while Fernando was a former mayor of Marikina City.

Running as an independent candidate, Madrigal said her bid exemplifies her principled leadership, a new type of politics that Filipinos should look for to rid the system of “trapos” or traditional politicians.

Comelec commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal noted this was the first time that the CoCs for president reached more than 70 with more established political parties unable to submit a full senatorial slate.

“It seems that almost everyone wants to be the country’s next president given the number of presidential bids filed before the legal department. It’s safe to say that while we are mandated to accept as ministerial duty all the bids, the en banc has a mandate to include only qualified candidates in the official list (of 2010 candidates),” said Larrazabal.

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