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Low turnout of filers noted at city Comelec office

TACLOBAN CITY- The last day of the filing of the certificates of candidacy for the May 14 elections appeared to be uneventful, at least at the office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), this city.
This was because only, as of noon, about 200 candidates, both for the barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) posts, filed their documents.
In contrast, there was a ‘massive’ turn out of filers on Wednesday (April 18) which was due to the belief of the filers that it would bring them luck as they aspire for village posts.
The deadline for the filing of the CoC for those who want to run for this year’s village elections is at 5 pm with no deadline set by the Comelec.
According to lawyer Ma. Goretti Cañas, city elections officer, the perceived lucky day or April 18, there were 902 candidates who trooped to their office to file their respective CoC.
“That day was really our peak day. They believed that April 18, having an eight number which is considered to be a lucky number to some, thus, there was a massive turn out of candidates who filed their certificates of candidacy,” Cañas said.
“So this last day of filing, we anticipate that we will not have a big turnout of candidates who will file their CoCs,” she added.
Since the start of the filing of the CoC last April 14 until noon of Friday, there were already 2,957 individuals who filed their CoCs for the barangay posts while 2,105 candidates filed their CoCs seeking for SK posts.
For Tacloban City, Eastern Visayas’ regional capital, up for grabs for both barangay and youth elections are 138 posts for chairpersons and 966 for councilors.
Among the candidates in this year’s elections are some media workers.
Among them is Mark Escol, who is on his last and third term as a councilor of Brgy.59, who is running for village chair.
Escol, who is a radio broadcaster of Magic FM, said that he want to serve more his people, adding that there was a ‘clamor from his constituents’ to run for their village top posts.
For Antonia Mendasa,55, she was egged on to run as a councilor in their village by her cousin, Pedro Ampatin who, incidentally, is in jail since last year due to illegal drugs possession.
“He asked me to run because he believed in me; that I have what it takes to become a leader in our village. He also asked me to help rid out illegal drugs in our village,” Mendasa, mother to four and presently the health service point officer of their village, Brgy. 77.
Meantime, Lourdes Bernadas, incumbent village councilor of Brgy.29, her family asked her mother, Sofia, who is serving on her second term as a councilor not to run in this year’s elections.
“She is already 83 years old. That’s why, we have asked her not to seek for reelection and just allowed me to seek for my second term,” Bernadas said.
Cañas said that so far, 10 candidates have withdrawn their CoCs due to their being not registered voters with their respective villages, or in one case involving an SK candidate who decided to run for the chairmanship from his original plan to just seek for a council seat.
(JOEY A. GABIETA)

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