MANILA—The Commission on Elections (Comelec) says the initial roster of aspirants to be released on Wednesday would be close to the final list of candidates to be included in the ballots for the May 2016 national and local polls.
“What we want by Dec. 23, when we come out with the list, although it will not yet be final, more or less, we want it to be close to the final list of candidates already,” said Comelec Chairman Juan Andres Bautista.
Last week, the Commission en banc postponed the release of the official list of candidates from Dec. 15 to Dec. 23, since there are still pending several cases involving possible candidates.
Bautista said the list to be released on Wednesday is still subject to changes until Jan. 8.
“The initial list, we want to have it by Dec. 23… And when can we no longer edit the list? We want it on Jan. 8,” he added.
Among the possible candidates in the forthcoming polls with disqualification cases before the Comelec are presidential aspirants Sen. Grace Poe and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
Poe is facing four petitions to have her Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) cancelled owing to questions on her citizenship and residency qualifications.
She has already been disqualified by the Comelec First and Second Divisions and has two pending motions for reconsideration (MRs) before the Commission en banc.
On the other hand, Duterte is facing disqualification case before the Comelec First Division due to persistent questions on the validity of Martin Dino’s CoC, which would render Duterte’s substitution void.
The Comelec is looking to start the printing of official ballots by the third week of January.