Thursday, April 28, 2011

Resolution No. 9212 - Guidelines in Filing COCs and Nomination for Aug 8, 2011 ARMM Elections

Republic of the Philippines
M a n i l a

x- - - - - - - - - - - -  - - - - x

BRILLANTES, Sixto, Jr. S.,
TAGLE, Lucenito N.
VELASCO, Armando C.,
YUSOPH, Elias R.,
LIM, Christian Robert S.

Promulgated:  April 28, 2011


        The Commission on Elections, by virtue of the powers vested in it by the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines, the Omnibus Election Code, and other election laws, RESOLVED to promulgate, as it hereby RESOLVES to promulgate, the following rules and guidelines on the filing of certificates of candidacy and nomination of official candidates of registered political parties in connection with the August 08, 2011 election of regional officials in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

        SECTION 1.  Certificate of Candidacy. – a) No person shall be elected Regional Governor, Regional Vice-Governor, or Member, Regional Legislative Assembly unless he files a sworn certificate of candidacy in the form prescribed by the Commission and within the period fixed herein.

b)  No person shall be eligible for more than one office to be filed in the same election.  If he files a certificate of candidacy for more than one office he shall not be eligible for any of them.  However, before the expiration of the period for the filing of certificate of candidacy, the person who has filed more than one certificate of candidacy may declare under oath the office for which he desires to be eligible and cancel the certificate of candidacy for the other office or offices.  Said declaration shall be filed personally or through his duly authorized representative with the proper office in accordance with Sec. 3 hereof.

c)  A person who has filed a certificate of candidacy may, prior to the election, withdraw the same pursuant to Section 13 hereof.

d)  The filing or withdrawal of a certificate of candidacy shall not affect whatever civil, criminal or administrative liabilities which a candidate may have incurred.

SEC. 2.  Contents of Certificate of Candidacy. – The certificate of candidacy shall be under oath and shall state that the person filing it is announcing his candidacy for the office and constituency stated therein; that he is eligible for said office, his age, gender, civil status, place and date of birth, his citizenship, whether natural-born or naturalized; the registered political party to which he belongs, if any; if married, the full name of the spouse; his legal residence, giving the exact address, the precinct number, barangay, city or municipality and province where he is a registered voter; his post office address for election purposes; his profession or occupation or employment; that he is not a permanent resident of or an immigrant to a foreign country; that he will support and defend the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines and will maintain true faith and allegiance thereto; that he will obey the laws, legal orders, decrees, resolutions, rules and regulations promulgated and issued by the duly-constituted authorities; that he assumes the foregoing obligations voluntarily without mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that the facts stated in the certificate are true and correct to the best of his own knowledge.

Unless a candidate has officially changed his name through a court-approved proceeding, a candidate shall use in a certificate of candidacy the name by which he has been baptized or if he has not been baptized in any church or religion, the name registered in the office of the local civil registrar or any other name under the provisions of existing law or, in the case of a Muslim, his Hadji name after performing the prescribed religious pilgrimage; provided, that when there are two or more candidates for an office with the same name and surname, each candidate, upon being made aware of such fact, shall state his paternal and maternal surname, except the incumbent who may continue to use the name and surname stated in his certificate of candidacy when he was elected.

The person filing the certificate of candidacy may include one nickname or stage name by which he is generally or popularly known in the locality; Provided, That no candidate shall use the nickname, stage name or initials of another.  In case of several nicknames or stage names, only the nickname or stage name first written shall be considered.  He shall affix his signature, thumbmark and his latest passport size photograph (taken not more than three (3) months before the date of filing his certificate of candidacy); and if he so desires, a statement in duplicate containing his bio-data and program of government not exceeding one hundred words.

Titles, such as DON, DATU, DOCTOR, GINOO, or words of similar imports shall not be allowed.

SEC. 3.  Where to File Certificate of Candidacy. – The certificate of candidacy shall be filed in FIVE (5) LEGIBLE COPIES with the offices of the Commission specified hereunder:

COMELEC Office where the certificates shall be filed
Regional Governor
Regional Vice-Governor
Office of the Regional Election Director, ARMM
Member, Regional Legislative Assembly
Office of the Provincial Election Supervisor concerned

The certificate of candidacy shall be filed by the candidate personally or by his duly authorized representative.  No certificate of candidacy shall be filed or accepted by mail, telegram or facsimile.  The authority of the authorized representative shall be in writing and under oath, and attached to the certificate of candidacy.

SEC. 4.  Period for Filing Certificate of Candidacy. – The filing of certificate of candidacy shall be from 8:00 o’clock in the morning up to 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon, beginning May 14, 2011 up to May 17, 2011, inclusive of Saturday and Sunday, and from 8:00 o’clock in the morning to 12:00 midnight on May 18, 2011.

No certificate of candidacy and/or party nomination shall be received after 12:00 o’clock midnight of the last day for filing certificates of candidacy, except in cases of proper and valid substitution under Section 14 hereof.


COMELEC employees welcome appointment of new poll commissioner Lagman

Members of the Alliance of Commission on Elections Employees in Service (ACES) on Wednesday welcomed the appointment of veteran IT expert Augusto "Gus" Lagman as the new Comelec commissioner.

“Though the ACES earlier hoped for an insider, Mr. Lagman’s appointment to the seven-member collegial body is certainly welcome news," ACES vice president for internal affairs Mac Ramirez said in a statement Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, Malacañang announced that Lagman will be replacing retired poll commissioner Nicodemo Ferrer, whose term ended last February.

Ramirez said that Lagman's IT knowledge will be of "tremendous use" for the Comelec while it gears up for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) elections in August.

“We hope, however, Lagman wouldn’t turn-tail on his advocacy for transparency and credibility of the automated elections in the country now that he is inside the agency he helped keep in check for several years already," he said.

He likewise said he hopes the newly appointed Comelec official will also champion the welfare of the more than 6,000 Comelec rank and file employees nationwide.

“We urge him to also join us in our fight for job security, better working conditions, decent wages and in our democratic right to organize and negotiate with management concerning our welfare," Ramirez said. - Kimberly Jane Tan/KBK, GMA News

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Veteran IT expert Gus Lagman is new COMELEC commissioner

Agusto C. Lagman
MANILA, Philippines - President Noynoy Aquino has appointed IT professional Augusto C. Lagman as Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner for a term that will expire until February 2, 2018, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte announced today.

Lagman is currently chairman of Vinta Systems, Inc, developer of AI-oriented software products. He is also director of STI College Recto and Biometrix Technologies, according to his curriculum vitae. 

Valte said it was Lagman’s “competence” that made him clinch the position. Valte said the President has always expressed his intention to appoint an IT expert “given the issues that the commission had faced during the last election.”

Asked why it took the President almost three months to name the appointee for the vacant slot, Valte said, “The President really wanted to find the right persons for the job. And sometimes it really takes quite some time to give over the shortlist and the nominees and you do know that sometimes also the President takes a personal hand in interviewing some nominees for any prospective position.”  [By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News]

COMELEC taste for solid narra beds hit hard

NARRA tree

MANILA, Philippines — This is one failed bidding the Commission on Elections will not likely rue.

A bidding failure may have helped the COMELEC escape further controversy after the poll body Tuesday came under fire for its choice of Pterocarpus indicus as furniture for its five cottages in Baguio City.

For people allergic to scientific terms, Pterocarpus indicus simply refers to the national tree narra.

Environment lawyer Jose Gerardo Medina, in a letter to COMELEC law department director Ferdinand Rafanan, pointed out that narra is an endangered species.  Rafanan also chairs the Comelec’s bids and awards committee (BAC).

Medina particularly protested the project’s specifications — that the 11 living room sets, 36 dining chairs, seven “king-sized beds” and 16 “queen-sized beds” be made of solid narra.

The wooden furniture, worth about P2.56 million, is part of the P9-million project for the supply of furnishings for the COMELEC’s five cottages that the poll body approved last December.

The bids committee certified the project as urgent as the COMELEC plans to hold summer sessions in Baguio.

“For the past three decades, the narra tree has been classified as an endangered species, the cutting and utilization of which is highly regulated and to a certain extent prohibited,” Medina said.

“As such, specifying furniture to be made from solid narra would be encouraging the use of an endangered premium hardwood species and would run contrary to the policy of the national government in protecting the narra species,” he said.

Critically endangered

Medina threw in another bit of advice: “Perhaps it would be best if the Comelec shy away from the use of endangered species and do its part in helping preserve the narra tree.”
The late Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes in 2007 issued an administrative order establishing a “national list of threatened Philippine plants.”  Narra, along with yakal and kamagong, falls under the “critically endangered species” category.

Possible changes

Rafanan, in a phone interview, said no individual or company showed up to submit their bids by Tuesday’s 10 a.m. bidding deadline.

He said the bids committee was aware of the restrictions on the use of narra and that he called a high DENR official for advice.

“We were told that finished products of narra are not banned.  The assumption is that they were crafted in compliance with our environmental laws,” Rafanan said, adding there were some furniture companies that mass cultivate narra trees for commercial purposes.

“We may ask the en banc to change the specifications,” he said.

Recycled wood

Medina suggested that the COMELEC use pre-fabricated or recycled wood available in the market.

“High-end furniture nowadays are made not of solid wood but rather of engineered wood or laminated boards which are equally as beautiful and functional,” he said.

Rafanan said the COMELEC may simply buy furniture priced at P500,000 and below, or settle for a negotiated contract if a second bidding fails.

The Switzerland-based International Union for Conservation of Nature, in its online “Red List of Threatened Species,” placed the status of narra under the “vulnerable” category.  - By Jerome Aning, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 04/27/2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Commissioner Lim to focus on Electoral Reforms & Training of Election Officers

COMELEC Commissioner Christian Robert Lim
Newly appointed Commission on Elections (COMELEC) commissioner Christian Robert Lim said he felt "overwhelmed" after his first en banc session but is challenged to do reforms in the electoral system.

In an interview on GMA Network's Unang Balita on Wednesday, Lim said his experience in the last elections showed him the kinds of reforms that he wants to implement in the Comelec, especially in the precinct level.

Aside from crafting resolutions, he said he wants to focus more on implementing what's already there, especially training election personnel and teachers to get them ready for the next automation elections.

He said the teachers and other election officers were not properly trained to handle the last automated elections, which made them panic when something went wrong.

"Mas importante 'yung training (for teachers and board of election inspectors) para wala nang duda kung may nangyayari sa eleksyon (Training teachers and board of election inspectors is more important so there's no more doubt when something happens in the next elections)," he said.

Lim was part of the legal and anti-fraud group of President Benigno Aquino III's Bantay Balota in the May 2010 elections.

But he quickly dismissed speculations that his appointment is a payback for helping out Aquino in the presidential campaign, stressing his new job is actually a "sacrifice."

In the same television interview, Lim admitted he was surprised when he found out he was appointed, jokingly adding that he thought it was an April Fools joke.

On Monday, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte announced that Lim will take the post vacated by Gregorio Larrazabal, who retired in February. 

Lim said he submitted a résumé because he wanted to work for government, but he did not have any position in mind. Lim also said he did not know who was behind his endorsement. 

He added that he felt sad about having to leave his private law office so soon.

Lim will serve in the poll body until February 2018 if his nomination will be approved by the bicameral Commission on Appointments. — Candice Montenegro/RSJ, GMA News

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New poll commissioner denies plot

Commissioner Christian Robert Lim
MANILA, Philippines - The newest commissioner of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) denied Tuesday his appointment has anything to do with preparations by former Senator Mar Roxas for an election bid in 2016.
Lawyer Christian Robert Lim was asked this question in his 1st press briefing before the Comelec media on Tuesday.

Lim said he only talked to Roxas once, and that was when the former lawmaker called to congratulate him for his appointment.”But besides that he wasn't able to talk to me in terms of plans for 2016. It's all speculative.”

Lim was a lawyer for Roxas and President Aquino, as well as the Villaraza, Cruz, Marcelo and Angangco law firm, which has known close ties to Roxas.
“I used to be an associate employee.  I don’t know who pushed my papers if that helped. I'm grateful to those who helped me.”

Lim will serve till February 2, 2018, 2 years after the 2016 presidential elections.

The new commissioner is still surprised at his appointment, saying he feels overwhelmed now that Comelec Chairman Sixto Brilliants has started to give him an orientation on his new job.

“Till now medyo na-overwhelm pa ako to think si chairman brought me up, made me sit in en banc to know dynamics of commission. It's still a learning process.”

Lim said he only submitted a resume, and that he was informed he was being considered. However he didn’t see his name in any shortlist reported by media.

He said he feels now is the time to serve government after turning down previous offers to join government.

Lim is aware of the comparisons between him and his predecessor, lawyer Gregorio Larrazabal. “Mas gwapo siya," he said.

Like his predecessor, Lim said he is also fond of electronics.

Lim is now focusing his energies towards preparing for the regional elections in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. “Mukhang tutuloy  yung ARMM elections. We hope we can refine the automation process (and) use it to further showcase automation," he said.

Lim will serve with the 1st division, led by Commissioner Rene Sarmiento.

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