According to Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, there are 77 “potential” candidates for senators, as of last night.
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Comelec to release official list of bets Saturday
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 26, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Seventy-seven senatorial aspirants and 134 party-list organizations could be allowed to run in the May 13 midterm polls, an official of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) said yesterday. 

According to Comelec spokesman James Jimenez, there are 77 “potential” candidates for senators, as of last night.

However, up to 14 senatorial bets might still be dropped as the poll body is finalizing the official list of candidates, which will be released today.

“You have 77 potential senatorial candidates, but there is a possibility that in the final list, it will be reduced by 14. We are waiting for the Certificate of Finality for the 14,” Jimenez told reporters. 

Records show a total of 152 certificates of candidacy for senator were filed with the Comelec, while 183 certificates of nomination and acceptance were submitted by party-list groups.

Jimenez noted they are waiting for the final decision on the 14 senatorial aspirants so their names would no longer be included in the official ballots. 

“If their names are printed on the ballots and then they are disqualified, there will be an impact. But that’s probably not going to happen in this case because we are waiting for the certificates of finality before we start loading their names,” he added.

Among the senatorial aspirants facing disqualification are comebacking Serge Osmeña III and re-electionist Aquilino Pimentel III.

Osmeña is facing motu proprio disqualification from Comelec for failing to submit his statement of contributions and expenditures in the 2013 and 2016 senatorial races.

Pimentel’s candidacy, on the other hand, is being contested by lawyers Ferdinand Topacio and Glenn Chong, citing term limits.

Meanwhile, the upcoming midterm elections are most likely to be taken up by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) during its four-day 118th plenary assembly.

CBCP secretary-general Fr. Marvin Mejia yesterday said the prelates might discuss the midterm elections scheduled on May 13, since some Catholics might look for guidance from their bishops.

He added that Church leaders are not expected to endorse political candidates to the parishioners.

In previous elections, some bishops just issue guidelines or cite the qualifications of candidates that would better serve the people.

The bishops often support candidates who share the Church’s pro-poor and pro-life positions.

In the 118th plenary assembly that runs from Jan. 25 to 28, they expect more than 130 bishops to attend, 90 of whom are still active and run 86 dioceses and archdioceses while about 40 are retired.

Over the weekend, the bishops would be listening to the reports of the different CBCP episcopal commissions while other matters, such as the upcoming elections, would only be discussed afterwards. 

The bishops gather bi-annually, every January and July, for their plenary assembly.

Meanwhile, over Church-run Radio Veritas, CBCP president Davao Archbishop Romulo Valles asked the faithful to pray for the bishops as they hold their plenary assembly. 

“Let me take this opportunity to request for your prayers for us all bishops of CBCP so that we will always be blessed by the Holy Spirit, guided by the Holy Spirit, strengthened by the Holy Spirit as we do the business and discussions of the CBCP,” Valles said. – Evelyn Macairan

2019 MIDTERM ELECTIONS COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS
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