September 23, 2023

No untoward incident was reported in the field offices of the Commission on Elections-Cordillera during the filing of certificates of candidacy from Oct. 1 to 8.

Comelec-Cordillera Director Ederlino Tabilas reported the various provincial, city and municipal offices did their best to prepare for the smooth and peaceful implementation of the filing of COCs. 

Tabilas said he has not received any report on anything irregular especially in Abra, which is considered an election hotspot in the region during the past elections due to election-related violence.

“This is just the filing period. We hope the peaceful atmosphere would continue until the campaign and election period,” Tabilas said.

The list of candidates for the various elective position will be finalized until Nov. 15, as the list would still go through evaluation by the Elections Registration Board.

He reminded the candidates that substitution will be until Nov. 15, while the withdrawal of a candidate for the local or national posts could still be filed before the election period.

Comelec will also accept petitions for disqualification or declaration of a candidate as nuisance, among others.

The Comelec’s Law Department and the Comelec en banc will decide if a candidate’s name will be removed from the final list to be printed on the ballots.   

As for the possibility of a face-to-face campaign, Tabilas said the Comelec en banc will study the amendment of the Fair Elections Act, which would determine the campaign procedures next year.

He said there might be a face-to-face campaign but it shall be limited unlike before where the whole political lineup conducted campaign sorties together.

Dahil nasa gitna tayo ng pandemya, sana’y magtulung-tulong tayo. The responsibility is upon us all. All of us are stakeholders in the conduct of an orderly, peaceful, and credible election,” he said. – Ofelia C. Empian