Comelec to 'seriously' consider later date of COC filing for BSKE

At a glance

  • Comelec Chairman George Erwin Garcia said before that the bases for the early filing of COCs will surely outweigh the concerns surrounding it.

Commission on Elections (Comelec) Chairman George Erwin Garcia said on Monday, March 20 that a later date for the filing of Certificates of Candidacy (COC) will seriously be considered by the poll body.

Garcia made the statement after Sen. Francis Tolentino appealed to the poll body to postpone the COC filing to August. The poll body previously announced that COC filing will be from July 3 to July 7.

"As I have said before, the later filing date of COCs for BSKE is sensible and will be seriously considered by the poll body," he said in a message to reporters.

Garcia added that there were already initial discussions on this matter by the Commission en banc several days ago.  He mentioned that hopefully, they will be able to come up will a final decision on Wednesday, March 22.

"Thank you so much to Sen. Tolentino for conveying his piece of mind and to all others who like him are desiring to have a peaceful electoral exercise. Remember that we are a Commission that listens and will act accordingly," he said.

Two weeks ago,

Parañaque 2nd District Rep. Gus Tambunting expressed opposition to the poll body's plan to set the COC filing in July. According to him, the move poses several problems that may compromise the integrity and safety of the electoral process.

Garcia said before that the bases for the early filing of COCs will surely outweigh the concerns surrounding it. Yet he assured the lawmaker that they will study and seriously consider his suggestion/ recommendation.

It can be recalled that the Commission en banc decided that a person who will file a COC will immediately be considered a candidate. They did this despite the presence of the 2009 Supreme Court (SC) landmark decision on the Peñera vs Comelec case, or the Peñera Doctrine which voids the prohibition on premature campaigning.

Garcia explained that because from the time of the filing of the COCs up to the day before the campaign period, candidates were "boldly committing" premature campaigning not afraid of any consequences in view of the Peñera doctrine.