MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) on Monday, February 15, said it is including the name of Senator Grace Poe in the ballot as the presidential aspirant has pending cases against the Comelec before the Supreme Court (SC).
Poe's name was on the list of presidential candidates when the government started printing nearly 57 million ballots on Monday.
Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista said the Comelec included her because the SC issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the poll body’s earlier ruling to bar Poe from running. (READ: SC sets another hearing, moves slowly on Poe case)
“Nandito pa po ang kanyang pangalan dahil po meron pang TRO sa naging desisyon ng Comelec. May TRO na ipinataw ang Korte Suprema kaya’t hindi pa pinal ang naging desisyon ng Comelec tungkol sa bagay na ‘yan,” Bautista said.
(Her name is still here because there is still a TRO on the decision of the Comelec. The Supreme Court imposed a TRO, that’s why the decision of the Comelec on this matter is not yet final.)
The Comelec had cancelled Poe’s certificate of candidacy based on claims that she is not a natural-born Filipino and that she has failed to meet the 10-year residency requirement for presidential candidates.
If the SC decides to uphold the Comelec ruling, then Poe wins, this would thrust the Philippines in a crisis in which the president-elect had been disqualified.
Comelec: Shorter ballot in 2016
Alongside Poe, below is the full list of presidential candidates on the 2016 ballot:
On the other hand, below is the full list of vice-presidential candidates:
Bautista said the list of presidential and vice-presidential candidates is shorter this year.
He pointed out that the ballot has only 6 presidential candidates in 2016, as opposed to 10 in 2010, the last time the Philippines held presidential elections.
The ballot also has only 6 vice-presidential candidates.
Bautista said the shorter ballot is one of the reasons why he is sure the Comelec can finish printing the ballots by April 25, despite earlier delays in the process. – Rappler.com
Paterno R. Esmaquel II is a senior reporter leading Rappler’s coverage of religion and foreign affairs. He finished MA Journalism in Ateneo and MSc Asian Studies (Religions in Plural Societies) at RSIS, Singapore. For story ideas or feedback, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.