Comelec begins weeding out nuisance candidates

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Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said candidates would be given a chance to explain why they should not be declared as a nuisance.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) began the process of weeding out possible nuisance candidates on Wednesday (October 21) — five days after the end of filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for next year's general elections.

Comelec will determine who among the 321 people who filed COCs last week were just out to make a mockery of the elections or had no clear intention or capability to carry out a political campaign.

The poll body will also disqualify those whose names bear similarity with those of legitimate candidates.

For instance, Liberal Party presidential bet Manuel "Mar" Roxas II filed a case against his namesake — who was also running for president. The former Interior secretary's full name is Manuel Araneta Roxas — while the other is Manuel Antonio Roxas.

Comelec said cases like this might confuse voters.

Last week, 321 people filed COCs. So far, the poll body was looking at 266 of these candidates to be likely classified as a nuisance.

Comelec will file cases against these candidates, who, in turn, will defend the legitimacy of their candidacy.

"The long and short of it, they will be given an opportunity to be heard on why they should be considered legitimate candidates," according to Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.

The poll body added that out of the 130 who filed COCs for president, only five would likely make it to the final list — scheduled to come out on December 10.

CNN Philippines' JC Gotinga contributed to this report.