Keep COC Filing Process Dignified, COMELEC Tells Candidates

The Commission on Elections (Comelec) appealed to aspirants, who will file their Certificates of Candidacy (COCs), to help in keeping the process orderly.

“We would like to emphasize that our goal in the preparation for the filing is dignified. We don’t want to turn it into a circus of supporters. We don’t want it to be rowdy,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in a forum in Manila on Wednesday, a day before the start of COC filing period.

The COC filing period is often marred with a fiesta-like ambience, where people flock to Comelec offices and stage various activities to show their support to their candidates.

He said they will also controll the number of people that would be allowed to enter the Comelec main office at the Palacio del Gobernador, in Intramuros, Manila.

He said they cannot limit what the candidates and their supporters will do outside the Comelec premises.

“Nanawagan kami sa supporters na sila na mismo magkusa huwag na natin guluhin itong process na ito (We appeal to the supporters not to disrupt this process),” Jimenez said.

He added that a candidate will be allowed 4 companions when she/he files the COC at the third floor of the Comelec building.

Meanwhile, only 10 persons, including the five nominees of the organization, are allowed to file the COC of their partylist at the session hall of the Comelec located at the 8th floor of the building.

He said they expect more individuals to file COCs for senator this year, compared to the 54 senatorial candidates in the 2016 polls.

Based on Comelec Resolution No. 10420, senators must file their COCs at the Comelec Law Department in its main office in Manila.

Also, the Certificate of Nomination and Certificate of Acceptance of Nomination of party-list groups shall be filed before the Comelec Law Department.

Those running for congressmen in Metro Manila must file their COCs at the Office of the Regional Election Director (RED) – National Capital Region; and for congressmen in the provinces, COCs will be filed at the Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor (PES).

COCs must be filed at the PES office for those running for provincial posts; and at the Office of the Election Officers (OEO) for city/municipal posts.

Those running for ARMM Governor and Vice Governor must file their COCs at the Office of the RED – ARMM; while those running for ARMM Legislative Assembly Members must file their intent at the concerned PES.

“The COC shall be filed by the aspirant or through a duly authorized representative with a sworn and signed Authority to File the COC,” the Resolution added.

The poll body will not accept COCs filed by mail, electronic mail, or facsimile.

Comelec added that an incomplete COC shall not be accepted and shall not be stamped received on time even when the aspirant is present and is waiting for his/her name to be called.

Examples of an incomplete COC include having no documentary stamp, no signature of the aspirant, not notarized, no signature of the notary public, incomplete address, no signature on the Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA), no photograph, and no thumbprint.

“The Receiving Officer shall have the ministerial duty to receive and acknowledge the receipt of the COC and CONA provided that, they are filed in conformity with the rules and regulations,” it said.

The Comelec said the person holding a public appointive office or position, including active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, and other officers and employees in government-owned or -controlled corporations, shall be considered resigned from office upon the filing of COC.

On the other hand, anyone holding an elective office or position shall not be considered resigned upon the filing of a COC whether for the same or any other elective office or position.

Under the law, no person can run for the position of Senator, Member of the House of Representatives, Provincial, City, Municipal, or ARMM Regional official unless the aspirant accomplishes and files a sworn COC in the form prescribed by the Commission.

As for party-list organizations, the Comelec said the Certificate of Acceptance of Nomination must be filed simultaneously with the Certificate of Nomination. (PNA)

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