Comelec eyes publication of COCs on website

By Ferdinand Patinio

June 14, 2024, 5:36 pm

<p>Comelec main office at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila <em>(PNA file photo)</em></p>

Comelec main office at the Palacio del Gobernador in Intramuros, Manila (PNA file photo)

MANILA – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) is planning to make public on its website all certificates of candidacy (COCs) starting with those filed for the May 2025 midterm polls.

Comelec chairperson George Erwin Garcia recommended the measure to the Commission en banc in a memorandum signed on Friday.

“The undersigned respectfully recommends the posting on the website of the Commission on Elections of all Certificates of Candidacy (COC) and, in applicable cases, the corresponding Certificates of Nomination and Acceptance (CONA) received for the 2025 National and Local Elections and all subsequent elections within two (2) weeks from the last day of filing of COCs,” Garcia’s memorandum read.

He added that the measure "aims to strengthen the transparency of the elections by providing a readily accessible manner for election stakeholders and the general voting public to scrutinize COCs.”

Garcia also said he wants candidates to be held accountable for the information they have provided in the COC.

“It is also respectfully recommended that the Law Department and the Information Technology Department be directed to draft the guidelines for this measure for the approval of the Commission En Banc,” he added.

Comelec spokesperson John Rex Laudiangco agreed that the public should have access to the COCs.

He said this would help voters scrutinize candidates’ background and qualifications.

Laudiangco said information contained in the COC can serve as the basis for possible charges against erring candidates.

"What are these cases? Petition for Cancellation or Denial of Due Course of COC -- if there is a material representation in all allegations, including the qualifications indicated in the COC. Another case is the petition for disqualification, if a candidate was adjudged as disqualified from holding public office either by the Comelec or the courts, and if the candidate was convicted of a crime that has a penalty of perpetual disqualification. The third case is petition to declare as nuisance candidate,” he said in Filipino during the Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing.

The poll body official said the Commission en banc's resolution on the posting of COCs may be out this weekend. (PNA)