A carnival affair

October 12, 2018

If it looks like a circus or a carnival, it is because local politics is precisely like that.

Like it or not electoral politics is a show, a grand musical-comedy affair where candidates perform song-and-dance numbers to entertain the crowd, not so much to present their programs or agenda if elected into office.

Considering this nature of local politics, it should be no surprise that the filing of certificates of candidacy of those seeking public office was like the grand opening day of an amusement theme park.

And so, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) appealed to those who are not serious in seeking public office not to make a mockery of the process of filing of Certificate of Candidacy (COC).

“‘Yun nga po ang pakiusap namin kung wala naman sila bonafide intent na totoong tumakbo at kakampanya, huwag na lang mag-file ng(We would like to ask those who do not have bonafide intent to run and campaign, just don't file a) COC,” Comelec Commissioner Rowena Guanzon said in a press conference Thursday.

The poll body official, however, assured that they respect the right of everyone to run for public office.

“Alam ninyo na karapatan ‘yan ng tao (You know that it's a right of a person). Basta hindi siguro apparently sira ang ulo nila, tatanggapin namin COC nila (As long as apparently they are not out of their minds, we will accept their COCs). Basta (As long as its) minimum 35 yrs old, able to read and write, natural born citizen, pwede tumakbo senador (they are eligible to run for senator),” Guanzon said.

“So ang sinasabi ko lang, kung hindi totohanan talaga sana, huwag gawin kakatawanan ito o kaya pang souvenir lang sa Facebook dahil napakarami ho namin trabaho. Sa demokrasya ay hindi po dapat ginagawang parang joke lang ba (ang proseso) (What I am saying is if you're not serious, don't make fun of it or make it as a Facebook souvenir because we have a lot of work to do. We are in a democracy. The process should not be made a joke),” she added.

With this, the Comelec official said they expect the same number of aspirants filing their COCs similar to the 2016 polls.

“Sa senador (For senator), last time around 140 aspirants, and 50 lang nag-qualify (only 50 were qualifed) to run, ‘yun iba nadisqualify (others were disqualified). Kalimitan, nuisance (Many of them are nuisance candidates),” she added.

There are a total of 18,092 positions available in the 2019 elections, including local government.

Some 144,000 COCs were filed in the previous polls.

The first day of the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for the 2019 midterm polls was generally successful, the Comelec said Thursday.