And so my phones began to ring in earnest yesterday, as they have done so in the last two weeks, when political operators and campaign teams would call me and ask if they could make appointments with me. I did set one appointment, with one major political party that belongs to the Opposition, and they have included my name in the pool of senatorial candidates that their Executive Committee has to vet as its official 12 candidates for senator.
Official announcements will be made later this month, and a formal oath-taking will follow. And so, the candidate that Comelec did not want to run in 2007, who was called a nuisance candidate, now belongs to a political party that will slug it out block by block, town by town, city by city, province by province, and region by region, in the great, grand battle of the May 2010 elections.
Let the games begin.
By Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 15:45:00 03/03/2009
(UPDATE) The Commission on Election is eyeing to move the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy about three months earlier, or to Nov. 30, 2009.
Comelec chairman Jose Melo said the new timeline would give the Comelec ample time to design the ballots for the automated polls in 2010.
In the past elections, the last day of filing of candidacies for national posts – from the president to senators – was in February. Candidates for local posts used to beat the deadline sometime in March.
If implemented, this policy could affect decisions to be made by presidential and vice presidential aspirants who are quite sensitive about the timing of their announcements.
“Deadline will be Nov. 30 because of the preparation of the ballots. That's a lot of names. It's not easy to prepare these ballots,” Melo said.
The ballots to be used in the 2010 polls will have security markings and the names of the candidates for national and local contests. Ballots of previous elections only had blanks and the names of the national and local candidates were attached to ballot secrecy folders merely as guides.
Melo said the Comelec would print different ballots for each district. “Each district has different congressmen candidates, different councilors. So we need time to prepare. It would be difficult if we miss printing the name of one candidate,” the poll chief said.
Even though the Comelec would move the deadline three to four months earlier, the campaign period would remain the same, Melo said. The poll body had yet to decide on the date of the start of the CoC filing, as of Tuesday.
Candidates for national posts could only start their campaign 90 days before the May 10 elections. “It's the usual schedule, 90 days before elections,” he said.
The poll chairman said the new deadline could lead to more cases of “electioneering.” Melo said they would look into amending certain rules to prevent politicians from prematurely campaigning.