By Analou de Vera | Manila Bulletin
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) said it is expected to release the official list of candidates for next year’s general elections by December.
Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez said that not all political aspirants who filed their certificates of candidacy (COC) will be included in the official list of candidates.
“Ine-expect natin ang final list mga around December. Ayun ang final. Ang pagsasala magagaganap ngayon hanggang that point (We’re expecting the final list to come out around December. That’s the final list. The screening will be conducted now until that point),” said Jimenez during an interview with radio DZBB.
“Again, sa pagka-Presidente lang 97. Ang dami mo nang sasalain kaagad. Sa VP [vice president], 28. Medyo talagang maraming trabaho (Again, for the presidency we have 97 aspirants. We have a lot to screen. For the VP, there were 28. We have a lot of work to do),” he added.
“Unang tingin mo pa lang alam mong makakatanggal ka ng mga 95 percent na mga magfile. Siguro matitira sa atin hindi lalampas ng sampu (At first glance, you know you may remove about 95 percent of those who filed. Only a few of them will be included),” he furthered.
To note, the filing of COC for national and local posts was conducted last Oct. 1 to 8.
Meanwhile, Jimenez suggested that lawmakers should come up with a measure that would limit the campaign activities of candidates on social media.
“Wala pong kailangan baguhin sa ating existing rules. Magagamit na nila yung social media ngayon palang at wala naman problema. Ang issue natin diyan is yung monitoring. Diyan tayo magkakroon ng malaking hamon dahil walang limitasyon sa gamit ng social media sa ngayon (There is nothing that needs to be changed in our existing rules. They can use social media and there is no problem with that. Our issue there is monitoring. That is where we will have a big challenge because there is no limit to the use of social media),” said Jimenez.
The Comelec spokesperson said they can only monitor the candidates’ expenditure in producing advertisements or promoting their posts on social media platforms.
“Beyond that kasi walang limitation. Hindi katulad halimbawa sa TV kung saan mayroon kang number of minutes na hindi pwedeng lampasan. Walang ganun sa social media. So ayun ang hamon sa atin (Unlike for example in TV, you only have a limited number of airing time. We don’t have such a policy on social media. So that is the challenge for us),” said Jimenez.
“Kung may kailangang pag-amyenda sa batas, sa ganung direksyon. Kailangan magkaroon ng bagong batas para magsabi kung ano na ang limitation sa paggamit ng social media (If there is a need to amend the law, it should be in that direction. There needs to be a new law to say what are the limitations on using social media),” he added.
The campaign period for candidates for president, vice president, senators, and party-lists will be from Feb. 8 to May 7, 2022.
For local candidates, the campaign period will be from March 25 to May 7, 2022.