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Comelec to reject COCs that skipped ‘disqualification question’

MANILA – The Commission on Elections on Monday said that it will not accept certificates of candidacy that will skip a new question on whether electoral aspirants have been found liable for an offense that carries a penalty of perpetual disqualification from public office.

Former Comelec chief Sixto Brillantes Jr. has criticized the question, saying convicted individuals “disqualify themselves” even without a final court judgment. He urged candidates to leave the question blank.

COCs that will leave the question blank, however, will be considered incomplete and will not be accepted by election officers, said Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez.

“Ang policy natin, kung hindi kumpleto ang form, bakit namin tatanggapin?” he told radio DZMM.

(Our policy is that if the form is incomplete, why would we accept it?)

Comelec, he added, has the power to ask questions that will speed up the vetting process of whether or not a candidate is qualified to run for office.

“Nangangamba sila na baka ma-compromise ang kanilang kandidato. Sa amin naman sa Comelec, kung totoo iyan, bakit naman hindi namin puwedeng tanungin?”

(They are worried that their candidates may be compromised. On Comelec’s part, if they are truly disqualified, why ever can’t we ask about it?)

The deadline of COC filing is on October 17, Wednesday.