Giving of interviews, holding of press conferences, motorcades and other activities to attract the people’s attention during the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) are not “illegal per se” under the Omnibus Election Code.
City election registrar Diosdado Javier said on Monday that activities to draw the people’s attention during the five-day CoC filing is allowed “as long as the candidates don’t tell the voters to vote for them in the coming elections.”
However, Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes has appealed to candidates to dispense with all the fanfare and make the filing of the CoC as “dignified as it should be.”
Brillantes’s appeal was posted on his new Twitter account @ChairBrillantes on Saturday.
Lawyer Duque Kadatuan, Comelec provincial supervisor, has also asked candidates not to bring their supporters during the filing of the CoC.
“Kung puwede lang, gawin nyo’ng tahimik at simple lang ang pag-file. Mas maganda na personally, kayo, ang mag-file ng CoC. (If ever, please make your filing of the CoC to be quiet and simple. It would be best if you, personally, would file the CoC),” said Kadatuan.
Javier stressed that there will be no last-minute or midnight filing of the CoC.
“If you have not filed your CoC until 5pm as of October 5, then, we could no longer accept your papers,” said Javier.
Also, Javier said that in a place like Kidapawan City, the declaration of a certain candidate as “nuisance” is “very remote.”
“In a city like Kidapawan where we have only 40 barangays, and most of the roads are already paved or cemented, it’s not difficult for candidates to campaign during the election period in a minimal expense,” said Javier.
But it’s different, he explained, “when it comes to national candidates.”
“One basic question that is asked of a national candidate is that, does he/she have the capacity to wage a national campaign? If the answer is no, then, he’s declared a nuisance candidate,” said Javier.
Meantime, the Comelec announced that additional safeguards are included in the new CoC.
Javier said that among the items introduced in the CoC is the candidates’ statement of contributions and expenditures in connection with the election.