Follow us for updates
© 2022
Read the Story →

High-Voltage COVID Zapper, Dwarf Medium Want to be President, VP

How does Comelec determine nuisance bets?
by Arianne Merez and Erwin Colcol
Oct 1, 2021
Aspiring vice presidential candidate Rochelle David said she wants to run as a medium of white dwarfs.
Photo/s: Jerome Ascaño

Claiming to have the backing of white dwarfs and angels of Jesus Christ, Rochelle David filed her candidacy for vice president of the Philippines, channeling folklore and religion to lift the country out of the pandemic.

There was also Laurencio Yulaga, a self-styled international scientist who wants to be president, and has claimed to have harnessed electricity to cure COVID-19. Just sit on 12,000 volts and you're healed.

With a multi-party system that is founded on personalities rather than principles, candidacy filing season also attracts both the serious contenders and colorful personalities, some of which end up being declared as nuisance bets.

"Medium ako ng mga puting duwende, tsaka angels, tsaka ni Jesus Christ," David told reporters after filing her COC on the same day as Sen. Manny Pacquiao. In Filipino folklore the white dwarf or puting duwende is the good kind as opposed to black.

Jerome Ascaño
Continue reading below ↓

Yulaga, who claims Harvard University pedigree, explained what he claimed was a breakthrough cure: “Uupo ka lang sa kuryente 12,000 volts wala ka nang COVID, Yung kuryente na puro positive lang, walang negative.”

In the spirit of democracy, David and Yulaga got their share of the spotlight during the first day of COC filing, which will run until Oct. 8. Are they nuisance bets? The Comelec will have to check their credentials first.

“In general, ang pinag-uusapan natin ay yung mga kandidato na nag-file para gawing katatawanan yung sistema,” Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez said in an earlier interview.

[Ito rin] yung mga taong sinasabi na walang bona fide intention to run for office,” he said.

What makes a nuisance candidate?

Section 69 of the Omnibus Election Code provides three reasons for a candidate to be considered “nuisance.” One is if the candidacy was filed only put the election process in “mockery or disrepute,” Jimenez said.

Continue reading below ↓
Recommended Videos

Candidates may also be tagged as nuisance if their intention to run for office could cause confusion among voters because of the similarity of their names to other registered candidates.

Siyempre kapag magkakapareho ang pangalan, baka may mawalang boto doon sa lehitimo, mapunta doon sa nuisance,” Jimenez said.

If the Comelec also determined that the person who filed a candidacy has no real intention of running for public office, he or she may be considered a nuisance candidate.

Ilan sa mga nagf-file ngayon, alam nilang matatawag silang nuisance. Kapag tinanong mo bakit ka nag-file? 'Wala, gusto ko lang makita yung mukha ko sa diyaryo,’” according to Jimenez.

Why are COCs from 'nuisance' bets still accepted?

It’s because like the elections itself, the filing of candidacies is a democratic process.

Jimenez said that accepting applications for public office is “ministerial” on the part of the Comelec, which means they have no discretion to decide which candidacies they should receive and from whom.

Continue reading below ↓

Lahat ng COC na inihahain ay tatanggapin. Pagkatapos tanggapin ang COC, doon sinasala,” he said.

Hindi naman yung paghahain ng COC ang nagiging determination para sa desisyon na masasama siya sa balota. Kapag natanggap na yung mga COC at naproseso na yan, na-evaluate at napag-aralan na, doon lamang madedeklara ang official candidates,” he added.

The Comelec must entertain all applications from aspiring government officials, regardless if they have the capacity to lead or have the funds to launch a campaign, so that the potential candidates can prove their worthiness to hold public office, Jimenez said.

"Kapag doon pa lang [sa filing] shinoot down mo na siya, wala na, naggagawa ka ng desisyon para sa lahat ng tao base sa nakita ng isang tao din. So that's contrary to the idea of a democracy,” he said.

Mas maganda, mas malinaw at mas regular yung bibigyan mo muna ng pagkakataon yung tao na marinig yung kanyang kaso bago mo siya husgahan,” he added.

Continue reading below ↓

So, how are nuisance candidates weeded out?

The Omnibus Election Code allows the poll body to decide on its own whether or not to consider a candidate as nuisance. Alternatively, an interested party may also file a petition before the commission’s law department to declare a candidate as such.

“Filing a petition to declare someone a nuisance candidate gives that person the opportunity to prove that he isn't,” Jimenez said in a separate tweet.

According to Comelec rules, a registered candidate for the same elective office may file a petition to declare a candidate as nuisance within five days from the last of filing of COCs. A hearing will then be conducted to act upon the petition.

“Yung pinangangamba natin na mga indibidwal na sa tingin natin hindi masyadong seryoso, malamang sa hindi, baka nga ganun din ang maging desisyon ng komisyon sa kanya at hindi niyo rin siya makikita sa final ballot,” Jimenez said.

Continue reading below ↓

In the end, whether a candidate is serious in running or not, or has a concrete plan to address the country’s problems, democracy must still prevail, according to Jimenez.

“The filing of COCs is a manifestation of democracy. And in a democratic process, ganyan talaga, may makikita kang gusto mo, may makikita kang ayaw mo,” he added.

Reportr is now on Quento. Download the app or visit the Quento website for more articles and videos from Reportr and your favorite websites.

Latest Headlines
Read Next
Recent News
A long-time spokesman of the Army and the Armed Forces.
With the reopening of several local destinations, this app has never been more timely.
An exhibit of paintings she received during the campaign.
He wins the World's Ugliest Dog Contest.
Third crown for the country in the pageant for trans women.
The news. So what? Subscribe to the newsletter that explains what the news means for you.
The email address you entered is invalid.
Thank you for signing up to On Three, reportr's weekly newsletter delivered to your mailbox three times a week. Only the latest, most useful and most insightful reads.
By signing up to newsletter, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.