Comelec sees limit on candidates’ supporters during COC filing
MANILA – The Electoral Commission (Comelec) is seeking to limit the number of supporters of candidates when filing nomination papers (COC) for next year’s polls in October.
“We can probably have a limit of the candidate and the lawyer or a family member to join the actual filing inside the office. We can also have barriers to control the crowd. We need it, ”Commissioner Antonio Kho said in a virtual forum on Wednesday.
Kho added that they will also implement crowd control measures, especially outside the main polling station in Intramuros, Manila, as part of measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease. 2019 (Covid-19).
He said the suggestion on crowd control measures came from former polling station commissioner Gregorio Larrazabal and election lawyer Romulo Macalintal.
As part of the move, Larrazabal said chairs will be provided outside Comelec’s main office where candidates will be seated and will not be allowed to move around to observe physical distance.
“When filing, it will not only be seven to eight serious candidates, it may reach 80 for example for the presidency. There are many unwelcome candidates, ”he added.
In the same briefing, Macalintal said there should be rules regarding the number of people allowed inside the premises and also outside during filing.
“I think it would be better if there was a management control of all the people who join the COC depot so that it is not a pandemonium of the sort. Even if there is a scheduled deposit, if the crowd is not controlled, the goal will not be achieved. Also, several meters from Comelec, the area should be cleared. Those who will be authorized will only be the candidate and a companion, ”Macalintal added.
On the other hand, Kho said the omnibus election code requires candidates seeking national and local positions to file their COCs personally or through an authorized representative,
As for the possibility of a virtual deposit of COCs, he said there had to be a law allowing it.
“This is the call of Congress, it will depend on them, but from now on, there is no such initiative that is substantial in the sense that it will be approved.”
The filing of COCs for next year’s polls will take place October 1-8.
National candidates or those running for President, Vice President, Senator and Party List seats must deposit their respective COCs at the main office of Comelec in Intramuros, Manila.
Candidates for Congress and local positions must deposit their COCs at the local Comelec offices in the city or municipality where they intend to be elected. (PNA)