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2022 poll candidates may only be allowed one ‘chaperone’ in filing of COC at Comelec offices

Art by Jimbo Albano Docena/BusinessMirror

Fewer people may be allowed to witness the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) by October under the new proposed stricter measure of the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

In an online forum on Wednesday, Comelec Commissioner Antonio Kho Jr. said they are considering further reducing the number of people, who may be allowed to accompany potential candidates during the event, to just one person.

“We can probably have limit to candidate and lawyer or family member to join the actual filing inside the office,” Kho said.

Kho issued the statement after prominent election lawyer Romulo Macalintal suggested reducing the number of people who may be allowed inside Comelec offices during the COC filing.

The filing of COCs in Comelec’s offices is usually marked with large crowds of family members and supporters who accompany election hopefuls.

The poll body is now considering several measures to limit the number of people in its offices at any given time due to the pandemic.

Among these is scheduling the days in the COC filing period for certain elective positions.

There is also a proposal for a virtual filing of COC, but Kho said the measure it unlikely to be approved due to legality issues.

“Under the Election Code, the COC must be personally filed by the candidate or authorized representative,” Kho said.

He said a new law may have to be passed by Congress first before online COC filing could be allowed.

The COC filing for the 2022 National and Local Elections will be held from October 1 to 8, 2021.

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