COMELEC Ready For CoC Filing This Week

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) in Negros Occidental is ready for one of the busiest weeks in its calendar of activities leading to the 2016 elections.

Provincial Comelec Supervisor
Jessie Suarez

Starting today October 12 to October 16, the offices of the poll agency will accept Certificates of Candidacy (COCs).

Provincial Election Supervisor Jessie Suarez appealed to candidates to file their CoC’s early.

The period for filing of COCs start from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday until Friday next week, with no extension, Suarez said.

He also reminded candidates to file their CoCs in five copies with a documentary stamp on the first page.

All copies should have a 1.25 x 1.25 picture on it, Suarez said.

Candidates in Negros Occidental including Bacolod City, the capital will vie for the posts of governor, vice governor, provincial board members and six congressional seats, and 31 mayoralty and 31 vice mayoralty seats.

For Bacolod, a highly urbanized city independent from the provincial government, has the post for City Mayor, Vice Mayor, congressman and 12 seats for its Sangguniang Panlungsod while for the 12 component cities there will be 120 seats of the city council up for grabs.

In the province’s 19 towns, 171 seats in the Sanggunian Bayan will be contested.

The Comelec will also ask candidates to sign an Integrity Pledge during the filing of the COCs, and to execute a sworn renunciation of foreign citizenship, if any.

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said this is the first time that such a pledge will be initiated by the Comelec, and it aims to add more credibility in the May 2016 polls.

Jimenez said the candidate, through the Integrity Pledge, will vow to ensure free, orderly, honest, peaceful, and credible elections, and commit to abide by the tenets of the Constitution, election laws, rules and regulations, respecting the sanctity of the electoral exercise.

The election period will start January 10 to June 8, 2016 during which a gun ban and ban on suspension of elective local officials will be observed, except in cases involving the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, that are not covered by the ban, Suarez said.

The campaign period for candidates for president, vice president, senator and party-list groups will be from February 9 to May 7, 2016.

The campaign period for candidates for members of the House of Representatives, and regional, provincial, city, municipal officials will be from March 25 to May 7.

Election Day will be on May 9.

Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. last week said his United Negros Alliance provincial and congressional candidates are set to file their certificates of candidacy on October 15.

Vice Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson, meanwhile will lead the Love Negros team in filing their CoCs on October 14.*