Binay, Honasan, Lacson, Colmenares lead early ‘serious’ filers as election season begins
Election veteran Eli Pamatong on Monday filed his certificate of candidacy (COC) to run for President the third time. He was declared a nuisance candidate in the 2004 and 2010 polls.
Pamatong was among 41 aspirants who filed their COC at the start of the five-day filing period at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main offices in Intramuros, Manila, as the nation’s election season kicked off.
The start of a week-long registration process began for more than 18,000 positions up for grabs — from the presidency down to town councilor — in the May 2016 elections.
Aside from well-known politicians, several unknown personalities have filed their COC, seeking to be elected as President, Vice President and senator.
As of 5 p.m. Monday, 22 individuals have manifested their determination to run for President, three for Vice President and 16 for senator.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, a former Aquino ally who now heads the main opposition party United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), was the first of the major candidates to register at the Comelec main offices.
Together with his running mate, Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan, the Vice President hosted a “boodle fight” with members of an urban poor community near the Comelec offices before his group marched to the Palacio del Governador to file their COC.
Honasan, the vice president of UNA, reportedly decided to accept the party’s offer to become Binay’s running mate “at the last minute.”
Honasan was a no-show a Cebu City event where Binay hinted of a Bin-Go (Binay-Gringo) tandem.
He later told reporters he was busy with “party matters.”
Last week, the UNA formally offered the VP slot to Honasan after talks with prospective candidates collapsed.
“I don’t have the luxury of an ego. I’m a soldier and I will follow the party decision,” he said.
What is important for him is that he underwent a selection process, and he is part of a party whose platform he believes in, Honasan added.
He cannot say for sure how he would be competing against such strong contenders in the vice presidential race, only saying the voters will be the judge of that come May next year.
Honasan said their platform consists of addressing issues of poverty and job security, so that Filipinos will not have to leave the Philippines in search of better opportunities abroad.
The Binay-Honasan tandem were the first pair of “serious” candidates to register their candidacy with the Comelec.
Binay was the sixth among an initial field of 22 people who wanted to be the next occupant of Malacañang while Honasan was the first vice presidential candidate to file a COC.
He was accompanied by his wife, Elenita, and children Sen. Nancy Binay and dismissed Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay.
In a statement, Binay narrated he came from a poor family and had to work hard until he finished his studies at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon City.
Binay said he if wins the presidency, he wants to give priority to the millions of Filipinos who can hardly make both ends meet.
“Sa napakahabang panahon, sa ilalim ng napakaraming administrasyon, iisa ang laging nakakaligtaan: ang matugunan ang daing ng mahihirap. Walang saysay ang pag-unlad kung hindi kasalo ang nakararami. Ito ang dapat pagtuunan ng pamahalaan. Ito ang aking pagtutuunan kapag ako ay mahalal bilang pangulo ng bansa [For a long time, under different administrations, only one thing is forgotten: to give answers to the cry of the poor. Progress is nothing if it is not shared with many. The government should focus on that, which I will do if I am elected President],” he added.
First to file his COC for president was former Iloilo congressman and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) chief Augusto “Boboy” Syjuco Jr., 72, followed by perennial presidential candidate, Eli Pamatong, who also set a Chinese flag on fire to dramatize his vow to regain the Philippine-owned islands illegally occupied by the Asian superpower.
Pamatong filed his COC for President the third time. He was declared a nuisance candidate in the 2004 and 2010 polls.
Other prominent personalities to join the presidential race were Camilo Sabio, 79, former chairman of the Presidential Commission on Good Goverrnment (PCGG), and radio commentator Rizalito David.
David was the petitioner in an electoral case questioning the citizenship of Sen. Grace Poe, the pre-election presidential survey frontrunner.
Former senator Panfilo Lacson was recorded as the first to file his COC.
Lacson, a former member of the Aquino Cabinet who is included in the Liberal Party ticket, indicated in his COC that he is an independent candidate.
Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares, meanwhile, was escorted by red-shirted supporters who gathered at the National Press Club before marching to the Palacio del Governador.
At his side was her niece, actress Angel Locsin, former Rep. Satur Ocampo and Teodoro Casiño, and satirist Mae Paner, also known as Juana Change. Paner, an advertising executive and theater actress, was an original supporter of President Aquino before she withdrew her support early into his presidency.
Colmenares said he is seeking a higher office, as he is convinced that a fighter is needed in the Senate.
“Kailangan ng fighter ng bayan sa Senado para ipaglaban ang pagtataas ng pension at sweldo ng mga manggagawa. Ipaglaban ang pagbaba ng singil sa kuryente at tubig, palakasin ang serbisyo publiko, hindi gawing negosyo…[We need a fighter for the people in the Senate to push for increase in salaries and pensions of workers. Fight for cheaper electricity and water, strengthen public service, and not to make a business of them]” the party-list lawmaker said.
Some not-so-popular individuals also filed their COC, among them Sel Hope Kang, 38, who is seeking the presidency.
In her speech, the home economics graduate of the University of the Philippines asked the help of the media to give her a chance to run to be able to help those who are in need.
In her COC, Kang indicated she was only 37 years old, which is three years short of the required minimum age of 40 years old.
But she said, “[It’s okay, I am exempted, I am a cum laude graduate from the University of the Philippines].”
Kang added that her slogan is “Dalisay na Daan [literally, Pure Path].”
She claimed to be currently employed in an accounting firm and a call center agent in Alabang, Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila).
Tricycle driver Eddie Llamas and Pastor Eric Negapatan are also seeking the presidential post.
Among the other presidential aspirants are Eprahim Defiño, 58, Federal Party, Mindanao; David Alimorong, Independent, Antipolo City; Ralph Masloff, 61, Independent, Cebu; Danilo Lihaylihay, 54, Independent; and Adolfo Inductivo, Independent.
The filing of COC for national and local positions started on Monday and will end on October 16.
Over 18,000 positions are available in next year’s polls.
LIST OF CANDIDATES (as of 5pm)
1. AUGUSTO SYJUCO JR.
3, EPHRAIM DEFINO
5. RALPH MASLOFF
6, JEJOMAR BINAY
7, CAMILO SABIO
8. FREDDIESHER LLAMAS
9. DANILO LIHAYLIHAY
10. ADOLFO INDUCTIVO
11. SEL HOPE KANG
12. DAVID PIJAO
13. RAMON CONCEPCION
14, FERDINAN FORTS
15, ERIC NEGAPATAN
16, GERARLD ARCEGA
17, LEONARDO BULA
18. ALJANDRO IGNACIO
19. ARSENIO DIMAYA
20. ARTURO REYES
21. DAVID RIZALITO
22. ESMERADO REYES
1. GREGORIO HONASAN
2. MYRNA MAMON
3. ALBERT ALBA
1. PANFILO LACSON
2. ANGEL REDOBLE
3, RICKY BACOLOD
4. DANIEL MAGTIRA
6, ELMAR SANTARIN
7. RAFAEL LABINDAO
8, JOSE KWE
9. ARMANDO CORTES
10 NERI COLMENARES
11. RAMON OSANO
12, JOHN ODONNELL PETALCORIN
13. EDUARDO DELA PENA
14, MELCHOR CHAVEZ
15. ROBERTO ANTOMIO MARIN
16, ALEXANDER BAUTISTA