MANILA — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is allowed to change the contents of the Certificate of Candidacy (COC) filed by candidates during elections.
“Yes, we can modify… because the Comelec is the enforcer of election laws, within reason, we can determine what is the form of the COC,” said Comelec Spokesman James Jimenez.
However, he noted that there has been no request yet for or initiative from the commission en banc to modify the COC contents.
The Omnibus Election Code provides that “no person shall be eligible for any elective public office unless he files a sworn COC.”
The poll body explained that there have been minor alterations made earlier in the contents of the COC. These are: requiring the candidates to declare under oath that they will file with the Comelec their Statement of Contributions and Expenditures (SOCE) within 30 days after the election and for the “name/words to appear on the ballot not to exceed 30 characters” entry in the form.
Jimenez could not say if there will be amendments in the COC for the 2016 polls or not, noting that it is supposed to be the decision of the commission en banc.
“Whether or not we will modify (the COC), that is a question for the commission en banc to resolve,” he added.
There have been confusion over the residency of Senator Grace Poe over the “6 years and 6 months” entry in her COC in the 2013 midterm elections on the question on how long she had been a Philippine resident.
It was particularly raised on the actual period covered by the question in the COC, whether it was until the date it was filed or until Election Day.