The anatomy of a nuisance candidate

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Some presidential aspirants were tagged as nuisance candidates by some netizens.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Assessing the first day of the filing of certificates of candidacies (COCs), Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista said that it seems like a lot of people want to be president.

On the first day, 22 people filed their COCs for the presidency, followed by three for the vice president, and 16 for senator.

Some of those who filed caused a buzz on social media.

 

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Posted by Mark Chester Obligado on Tuesday, October 13, 2015
 

 

Some had out-of-this-world plans for the country, while others claimed that otherworldly beings were behind their presidential bid.

This led some to tag them as nuisance candidates and declare the current policy on COC applications as “out of control.”

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Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez, however, disagreed. Replying to a comment on Twitter, he said the current system is “robust and democratic.”

 

It is the ministerial duty of the agency to accept the COCs of those who want to file. Only after the filing will the deliberations on the aspiring candidates begin.

Lahat ng Certificate of Candidacy na ifa-file, tatanggapin. Pero hindi lahat ng nag-file, magiging kandidato,” Jimenez explained on Twitter.

“If they are not accepted this time around and then they file it again, it will still have to go under the same hearing process… If later on our evaluation shows that for some reason or another, these people can now be treated seriously then they will, in fact, be treated seriously regardless of the fact that they are one time considered nuisance.”

Even though others questioned the psychological capacity of some of those who filed COCs, health — both physical and mental — is not included in the parameters that the Comelec looks into in deciding who the official candidates will be.

Related: Requirements for presidential candidates

“Although health is a very definite issue for voters, a person [running for the presidency] in front of us doesn't have to meet any health requirements, That's not set forth in the Constitution,” Jimenez told CNN Philippines in a phone interview over Nightly News on Tuesday (October 13).

Under the Constitution, a person aspiring to be president has to comply with five criteria. You have to be:

  • a natural-born citizen of the Philippines;
  • a registered voter;
  • able to read and write;
  • at least forty years of age on the day of the election;
  • and a resident of the Philippines for at least ten years immediately preceding such election

Related: VotEd: Qualifications for president and vice president

Comelec can also determine motu propio or on its own if someone who filed a COC is a nuisance candidate.

Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code said that it could cancel the COC if the person who filed it has:

  • no bona fide intention to run for office
  • intent to make a mockery of the election process
  • intent of confusing the voting public by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates

Nuisance_candidate_CNNPH.png  

The Comelec can also declare independent candidates as nuisance if they cannot prove their capacity to independently wage a national campaign, such as the case during the 2013 elections.

The final list of candidates will be issued on December 10.