Record high: 130 contenders want to become Philippine president

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Philippines elections 2016Doors officially closed on October 16 for candidates to submit their Certificate of Candidacy for the 2016 Philippines polls. The result: a historic high of 130 contenders registered to succeed Benigno Aquino as Philippine president in the May 9, 2016 general election by the deadline,

These candidates include four leading contenders: Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay, former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.

Among others who registered were a man who gave his name as Archangel Lucifer, a woman who heard voices from heaven and commanded her to run for public office and another who claimed to be an extraterrestrial ambassadors, as well as a twice-disqualified former presidential candidate, a tricycle driver, two pastors, two retired military officers, a land caretaker and a 76-year-old taxi driver. Another says he wants to legalise the four seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall in tropical Philippines.

“This is a symbol or a representative of a vibrant democracy, where more people feel empowered to cast their vote, and to put themselves forward as candidates,” said James Jimenez, spokesman for the Commission on Elections.

“We are giving people the opportunity to file their candidacies, but we reserve the right to really cut (the number) down to those with a reasonable expectation of victory,” he added.

However, candidates with no serious intentions running in the polls have been defined by election observes as “nuisance bets.”  The election code defines a nuisance candidate as someone who files for presidency “to put the election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed, and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate.”

Election reform advocates want stricter requirements to run for president, such as having a college degree, but their proposals were not picked up.

In the 2010 presidential election, 99 people registered to run for president but only 10 people were allowed to compete. Aquino, only son of democracy icons Benigno Aquino Sr and Corazon Aquino, won with 42 per cent of the votes.

One who runs for vice president is Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Interestingly, his running mate will be Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, leader of the center-left People’s Reform Party. She defended her candidacy to her followers saying that what happened under martial law before was “not made by the Marcos family but by President Marcos and his advisers. I do not think that on a family basis, the Marcoses as a family owe us an apology.”

Santiago is popular among the youth for her strong stance against graft and corruption.

Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, as expected, registered to run for Senate. He announced he would “push for free, quality public education” to give other people a better chance than what he had when he was forced to drop out of school because his family could not afford to pay. He also vowed to put an end to the abuses of overseas Filipino workers and said he would be an advocate for farmers. He also said he would make peace a priority in Mindanao.

“On this day, allow me to expand my horizon where I am called as a ‘Champion of the Philippines.’ Allow me to be your ‘fist’ to overcome your problems concerning poverty,” said Pacquiao.

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Doors officially closed on October 16 for candidates to submit their Certificate of Candidacy for the 2016 Philippines polls. The result: a historic high of 130 contenders registered to succeed Benigno Aquino as Philippine president in the May 9, 2016 general election by the deadline,

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Philippines elections 2016Doors officially closed on October 16 for candidates to submit their Certificate of Candidacy for the 2016 Philippines polls. The result: a historic high of 130 contenders registered to succeed Benigno Aquino as Philippine president in the May 9, 2016 general election by the deadline,

These candidates include four leading contenders: Senator Grace Poe, Vice President Jejomar Binay, former interior secretary Manuel Roxas II and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.

Among others who registered were a man who gave his name as Archangel Lucifer, a woman who heard voices from heaven and commanded her to run for public office and another who claimed to be an extraterrestrial ambassadors, as well as a twice-disqualified former presidential candidate, a tricycle driver, two pastors, two retired military officers, a land caretaker and a 76-year-old taxi driver. Another says he wants to legalise the four seasons of winter, spring, summer and fall in tropical Philippines.

“This is a symbol or a representative of a vibrant democracy, where more people feel empowered to cast their vote, and to put themselves forward as candidates,” said James Jimenez, spokesman for the Commission on Elections.

“We are giving people the opportunity to file their candidacies, but we reserve the right to really cut (the number) down to those with a reasonable expectation of victory,” he added.

However, candidates with no serious intentions running in the polls have been defined by election observes as “nuisance bets.”  The election code defines a nuisance candidate as someone who files for presidency “to put the election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed, and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate.”

Election reform advocates want stricter requirements to run for president, such as having a college degree, but their proposals were not picked up.

In the 2010 presidential election, 99 people registered to run for president but only 10 people were allowed to compete. Aquino, only son of democracy icons Benigno Aquino Sr and Corazon Aquino, won with 42 per cent of the votes.

One who runs for vice president is Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Interestingly, his running mate will be Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, leader of the center-left People’s Reform Party. She defended her candidacy to her followers saying that what happened under martial law before was “not made by the Marcos family but by President Marcos and his advisers. I do not think that on a family basis, the Marcoses as a family owe us an apology.”

Santiago is popular among the youth for her strong stance against graft and corruption.

Boxing icon Manny Pacquiao, as expected, registered to run for Senate. He announced he would “push for free, quality public education” to give other people a better chance than what he had when he was forced to drop out of school because his family could not afford to pay. He also vowed to put an end to the abuses of overseas Filipino workers and said he would be an advocate for farmers. He also said he would make peace a priority in Mindanao.

“On this day, allow me to expand my horizon where I am called as a ‘Champion of the Philippines.’ Allow me to be your ‘fist’ to overcome your problems concerning poverty,” said Pacquiao.

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