Written by Jesus F. Llanto and Reynaldo Santos Jr.
Wednesday, 02 December 2009
By the time the filing period ended at midnight on Tuesday, 99 aspirants had submitted their certificates of candidacy (COCs) for president, a record number for the highest position in the land, according to an election official.
“I think this is the highest number of filers for president,” said Ferdinand Rafanan, chief of the poll body’s legal division. “It shows [their] confidence in automated elections.”
The last filer, Manuel Po, came at the last minute—literally. At exactly 12 midnight, just as the Commission on Elections (Comelec) office in Intramuros, Manila, was closing, he registered his candidacy.
Poll office workers initially refused to accommodate him, but later accepted his COC just to pacify him. Po had scolded them and threatened to take Comelec officials to the Supreme Court.
Po said he’s a farmer from Misamis Oriental and is running under Progressive People’s Party. His nickname: Fernan Po Jr., or simply FPJ.
During the filing period from November 20 to December 1, according to the Comelec, 99 filed for president, 20 for vice president, and 158 for senator. A total of 305 organizations registered their intent to participate in the party-list elections; 82 of them filed on the last day alone.
Rafanan estimated that around 25 of the 99 presidential aspirants are considered qualified; 10 to 15 of the 20 vice presidential aspirants; and half of the 158 senatorial aspirants.
The Comelec will start hearing petitions for disqualification of individuals and organizations that filed their COCs. Rafanan said the final list of approved candidacies will be out before December ends. (Newsbreak)