DUMAGUETE CITY – Commission on Elections (Comelec) officials in the province of Negros Oriental and this capital city are urging those who are running in the May 2019 elections to file their certificate of candidacy (COC) at the earliest time possible to avoid problems usually encountered in last-minute filing.
The appeal came as candidates including incumbents, new or returning, filed on Thursday their COCs in the areas where they hope to be elected next year.
“Study and fill out the forms, prepare the requirements early, especially the Certificate of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) from their political party, if ever they have one,” said lawyer Eddie Aba, the provincial election supervisor of Negros Oriental.
“They must be very sensitive with the requirements set in the Comelec resolution, like, for example, how many original copies, documentary tax stamps, and the form must be the prescribed form,” he said.
According to Aba, candidates must file the COC in the proper office, which means mayors, vice mayors and councilors should file at the local level, while those seeking the posts of governor, vice governor, congressman, and board member must file the COC at the provincial Comelec office.
He also advised would-be candidates to complete the COC forms and submit all the requirements.
Lawyer Gildu Agoncillo, election officer of Dumaguete, said it would be best for the candidates to file early as it would give them more time to catch up with the requirements in case these are incomplete upon filing.
“Kung mu file sila sa last day ug dili kumpleto ang requirements, wala na silay panahon pa nga ma kumpleto ni ug dili na gyud sila ma consider as filed (if they file on the last day with incomplete requirements, they would no longer have enough time to comply and they will be considered as ‘not filed’),” he said.
The first to file his COC at the City Comelec Office here was William Ablong, a former vice mayor, city administrator, and city agriculture office head, at around 8:29 a.m.
Ablong is running as an independent candidate for mayor of Dumaguete City and is expected to be pitted against incumbent Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo.
Another independent candidate who filed early his COC for mayor of Dumaguete was Quirino Ramirez.
The filing of COCs will be only for five days, from Oct. 11 to 17, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. excluding Saturday and Sunday, and there shall be no extension, Agoncillo said. (Mary Judaline Partlow/PNA)