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Festive mood jumpstarts filing of CoCs for 2019




COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS officials wait for applicants during the start of filing of Certificate of Candidacy at Comelec office in Intramuros, Manila.  (Tempo/Jansen Romero)

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS officials wait for applicants during the start of filing of Certificate of Candidacy at Comelec office in Intramuros, Manila. (Tempo/Jansen Romero)

A FESTIVE  mood started the nationwide five-day filing period of Certificates of Candidacy for the May 2019 elections.

Twenty-seven individuals filed their CoCs for senator on the first at the Commission on Elections  main office in Intramuros, Manila yesterday.

The candidates for senators and party-list groups brought their supporters to make grand entrances.

Some dressed to impress, wearing gowns and barongs, some brought their babies, and some held placards and flags as they loudly chanted the names of their candidates.

Some aspirants, who the public hasn’t even heard of, claimed that they became former lovers of celebrities.

Angon “Agi” Tuana, 42, who filed his CoC for senator, said that he was a former boyfriend of former Communications Assistant Secretary Mocha Uson. He said they met in a bar in Quezon City.

He was wearing shades, a dirty red and white jacket, and loose denim pants. At 1:43 p.m., he happily went out of Comelec and bragged that he has successfully filed his candidacy.

Daniel Magtira, 57, clad in gray coat and red tie, said that he was an old flame of Kris Aquino. In 2016, he was declared as a nuisance candidate by the poll body.

“Kris Aquino, if you are watching, I still love you,” Magtira said in Filipino. He said before that he was married to the actress.

Beth Lopez, around 50 years old, was not allowed to enter by Comelec security. Though she was looking regal, she shouted at security guards for not permitting her to enter so that she could file her CoC for senator.

“Once elected, I want to abolish useless laws in the country,” she angrily said.

Former Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, who filed his CoC for senator, and his supporters marched from the nearby National Press Club to the Comelec head office, banging drums as the jingle for his candidacy played.

Colmenares, before entering the Comelec building, said that he will seek to remove the Value-Added Tax on water, electricity, and petroleum products once elected.

He also wants to create a law that prohibits contractualization in all forms. “The immediate platform of Makabayan is to create a law prohibiting contractualization,” he said.

Senatorial candidate cardiologist Dr. Willie Ong was accompanied by supporters who chanted his name as he entered Palacio del Gobernador.  Ong said his goal is to lower the prices of medicines in the country, saying it is what his million followers on Facebook want.

The first to file CoC was reelectionist Sen. Koko Pimentel who arrived at 7:45 a.m. with his fiance, Kathryna Yu, and other supporters aboard a white car.

Pimentel said he filed early because he wants to focus on his wedding on Oct. 18. “Gusto ko na mawala sa isip ko ‘to. Para mag-focus na ako sa kasal ko,” he said before introducing his fiance.

The former Senate chief revealed possible senatorial candidates under the administration PDP-Laban. “Ako nandito na ako, Francis Tolentino, Harry Roque possible, SAP Bong Go possible, Monsour del Rosario, Bato dela Rosa, and Dong Magundadatu.”

Musician Freddie Aguilar, well known for the song “Anak,” filed a CoC for senator.

Aguilar, 65, said it took him 40 years to finally decide to run. “After 40 years, I was finally convinced to run. Ordinary people have been urging me to run for a long time because of my advocacies through my songs,” he said after filing his CoC.

“In my desire to continue the change even if I’m not into politics, I decided to run to be of help to the nation,” said Aguilar.

Samira Ali Gutoc-Tomawis, a native of Marawi City, was the first woman opposition candidate to file her CoC for senator. She was appointed before as a member of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission.

Tomawin, who was accompanied by her fellow Muslim brethren chanting her name, asked President Duterte that he should not take her to move personally. “Walang personalan, President Duterte, pero bilisan po natin ang rehabilitation ng Marawi.”

Others who filed CoCs for senators were Victoriano “Victor” Inte, 64, independent; Dionisio “Tata Miling” Manalo, 64, independent; Christian “Chris” Castro, 40, independent; Salam E.D.E. Lacan Luisong “King Salam Tagean” Tagean, 61, King of Maharlika, independent; 10. Melchor “Mel” Chavez, 67, Labor Party Philippines;

Ibrahim “Shariff” Albani, 46, Labor Party Philippines; Abner “Afuang” Afuang, 74, Labor Party Philippines; Robel dela Cruz, 41, independent;

Carmelo “Mel” Carreon, 73, independent;  Marvin “Andy” Navarro, 35, independent;

Anson “Agi Tuana Anson Lee” Lee, 39, independent; Ramon Diaz, 44, independent;

Eleazar “Ely” Salon, 66, independent; Danilo “Dan Roleda Kaibigan” Roleda, 61, United Nationalist Alliance; Rey Dapat, 38, independent; Gerald Arcega, 42, Labor Party Philippines; 23. Rolando Merano, 62, independent; Eric Negapatan, 62, independent; Vicente Avena, 54, Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino;  Nur Ana Sahidulla, 59, Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino; and Antonio Valdes, 71, Katipunan ng Demokratikong Pilipino.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said the first day of filing was very successful.

“Overall, our first day was very successful in the sense that there was no major problem encountered. There was an issue with the candidate filling out the wrong form, but it was immediately resolved,” he said. “Across the country, I didn’t receive a report of problems and for the most part they seemed happy in what transpired in their areas. Again, these are initial impressions,” added Jimenez.

He expressed hope that the trend will continue.