MANILA – Monday marked the first day of the five-day period for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for next year’s national elections.
With over 18,000 elective positions sought for in the coming general elections – one was allotted for the president, one for vice president, 12 senators, 235 district congressmen, 58 party-list representatives, 81 governors, 81 vice governors, 772 members of Sangguniang Panlalawigan, 144 city mayors, 144 city vice mayors, 1,610 city councilors, 1,490 municipal mayors, 1490 municipal vice mayors, 11,924 municipal councilors, one ARMM governor, one ARMM vice governor and 24 ARMM assemblymen.
COC were prepared for filers although these were also downloadable online. Presidential, vice-presidential and senatorial candidates were to file at the first floor of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office in Intramuros, Manila while party-list group members were to nominate at the third floor.
Those expected to join the presidential race were former Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II of the Liberal Party (LP), Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), independent Senator Grace Poe and former Ambassador Roy Seneres, Sr., among other aspirants.
Those who expressed interest to run for vice president, on the other hand, were Representative Leni Robredo of LP, Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan of UNA, independent Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos and Antonio Trillanes IV, among other candidates.
On day one, only UNA candidates Binay and Honasan filed their COC. Sources stated that the other viable candidates of the country’s highest and second highest posts were to troop to the Palacio del Gobernador building towards the end of the filing period, presumably on Thursday.
Although repeatedly urged to run for president, Davao Mayor Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte stressed that his earlier decision to retire from public service in 2016 remained.
“I am sorry to disappoint those who spent much and worked hard and long in support of me… I therefore beg for everyone’s kind understanding and acceptance of my sincerest apologies. After all, there was no ambition for me to aspire for the presidency,” Duterte said in a letter addressed to ‘friends and fellow Dabawenyos.’
Other presidential aspirant/s: (as of posting)
*Former Iloilo Representative Augusto “Buboy” Syjuco Jr.
*Mindanao Federal Party’s Ephraim Defiño
*Sultan Muhammad Issa
*Lawyer Elly Pamatong
*Lawyer Camilo Sabio
*Businessman David Alimorong
*Engineer Ralph Masloff
*Retired AFP officer Adolfo Inductivo
*Reserve Enforcer Danilo Lihay-Lihay
*Taxi driver Alejandro Ignacio
*Sel Hope Kang
*Ferdinand Jose Pijao
Other vice-presidential aspirant/s: (as of posting)