CALBAYOG CITY-At least 15 candidates bearing similar family names of leading and more established candidates in the province have voluntarily withdrew their certificates of candidacy at the provincial office of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
The ‘nuisance candidates’ withdrew their candidacies together with their lawyers on October 20, just three days after the end of the five-day filing of the certificates of candidacy.
Provincial elections supervisor Corazon Montallana said that she welcomed the decision of these candidates to withdraw their candidacies saying this would stop the practice of some candidates to confuse their respective rivals.
Montallana said that under section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code, the Comelec, on its own or motu propio, could refuse to give due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy if it is shown that said certificate has been filed to put election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates.
By doing so, the candidates made it easy for the Comelec to identify legitimate candidates for the forthcoming May 13,2019 elections, Montallana added.
“As I observed, said act has become a practice because every elections, nuisance candidates (who files their certificates of candidacy) increases in number,” she said.
“I want this to stop because it becomes a culture that is not good to the entire province,” the provincial elections supervisor added.
Of the 15 candidates who withdrew their CoCs, one bears the surname Tan and Sarmiento, four Zosa for the position of governor, two Tan and four Sarmiento for the position of House of Representatives in the first district of the province, three with the surname Bolastig for the position of House Representatives in the 2nd district.
The Comelec had identified outgoing Rep. Milagrosa Tan and Emil Zosa as legitimate candidates for the position of governor.
Rep.Edgar Mary Sarmiento and Vice Gov. Stephen James Tan are considered to be the major candidates for the province’s first congressional district while Gov. Sharee Ann Tan and lawyer Christopher Bolastig are the acknowledged serious candidates for Samar’s second congressional district.
Montallana said that candidates coming from both parties should know the rules regarding fielding candidates with the same name as to their opponents. (JENNIFER D.SUMAGANG-ALLEGADO)