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Sep 29th
Home Sections Politics No Filing of CoC by Mail, Comelec Regional Officer Rules
No Filing of CoC by Mail, Comelec Regional Officer Rules PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Politics
Written by Joseph G. Lariosa   
Tuesday, 22 December 2009 22:57


(© 2009 Journal Group Link International)



No Filing of Certificate of Candidacy (CoC) by Mail, Comelec Regional Officer Rules


, Illinois (JGLi) – “No certificate of candidacy shall be filed or accepted by mail, telegram or facsimile.”


This was the response of Atty. Zacarias C. Zaragoza, Jr., Regional Election Director of Bicol Region (Region V) in Legazpi City when asked by this reporter in an email if he is going to allow Atty. Calixto L. Aquino, Jr., Provincial Election Supervisor of Sorsogon Province, to accept the certificate of candidacy mailed by Overseas Filipino Worker Roberto “Lolo Bobby” M. Reyes for governor in Sorsogon.


Citing the Commission on Election Resolution No. 8678 dated Oct. 6, 2009, Attorney Zaragoza said the CoC “maybe downloaded from the Comelec website But ‘Section 3’ says the CoC ‘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.’”


Reyes, a journalist, book author and a community organizer, downloaded copies of the CoC from the Comelec website, accomplished the forms and sworn to his COC before Philippine Consulate officials in Los Angeles, California, before dropping the CoC by registered mail at the Los Angeles post office addressed to the Comelec office in Sorsogon City on or before the Nov. 30, 2009 deadline.


Perhaps the COMELEC will now promote mailing of the Certificate of Candidacy by mail, because if such practice was encouraged, then the Maguindanao Massacre would not have happened, as the CoC could have been sent by registered mail, postage prepaid. My filing by mail of the CoC may result, therefore, in a legal precedence and save countless of lives in the foreseeable future. – Lolo Bobby M. Reyes


W hen reached for comment, Lolo Bobby, 63, immediately fired away an e-mail to Attorney Zaragoza, appealing for reconsideration, saying:


·        The CoC was duly subscribed and sworn to before the Hon. Vice Consul John G. Reyes (not related to the petitioner) of the Philippine Consulate General of Los Angeles, California, on Nov. 30, 2009. Vice Consul Reyes is also the Officer-in-charge of the Oversees Absentee Voting (OAV) Task Force of the COMELEC in Southern California.


·        Submitting the said CoC to a foreign diplomatic outpost of the Philippine Government for notarization or authentication is substantial compliance with any regulations of any Philippine-government entity such as the COMELEC, as the Philippine Consulate General is not only an extension of the Philippine Government in a foreign country but it is also part and parcel of the Philippine-governmental structure.


·        Since the authentication done by the Philippine Consulate General carried with it the payment of twenty-five ($25) Dollars, for which an official receipt was issued and sent together with the CoC, such was an official action of the entity of the Philippine Government and which office serves as an official extension of the COMELEC insofar as the OAV Law is concerned.


·        The said CoC was duly sent by registered first-class air mail, postage prepaid, to the Office of COMELEC Provincial Registrar in Sorsogon City also on Nov. 30, 2009, which complies with the time-honored practice that mailing – with postage prepaid – any and all official correspondence or legal form to any government entity on or before the mandated deadline is considered as compliance of the said deadline.


·        The CoC form carried this first of five instructions: "1. File this in FIVE (5) LEGIBLE copies" and nothing was stated in it the COMELEC Resolution No. 8678 dated October 06, 2009.


·        Since Overseas Absentee Voters (OAV) voters receive their ballots by mail, as had happened in the May 2007 elections and announced tentatively for the May 2010 elections, then they can also file a CoC by mail.


·        A qualified Overseas-Filipino worker like the undersigned who is given the right to vote by mail is likewise granted the right to run for an elective position in which he is qualified. The exercise of suffrage by and through the postal service includes any and all aspects of the election process.


·        Perhaps the Honorable Commissioners of the COMELEC will now promote mailing of the CoC by mail, because if such practice was encouraged, then the Maguindanao Massacre would not have happened, as the CoC could have been sent by registered mail, postage prepaid. This filing by mail of the CoC at bar may result, therefore, in a legal precedence and save countless of lives in the foreseeable future.


·        Since the COMELEC website is not programmed to receive a completed and duly filled-up CoC, the next universally-recognized Internet practice is to send it by slow mail, registered preferably but with postage always prepaid.


·        The spirit behind the OAV Law is to give political empowerment to the millions of Overseas-Filipino workers (OFWs) such as the undersigned petitioner.


·        The OFWs, having been hailed by national leaders of the Philippines, as the country's newest heroes, should be encouraged to seek elective government positions, so as to contribute further to the task of nation building. The COMELEC should interpret its rules and regulations liberally insofar as the OFWs are concerned, as the OFWs have the built-in disadvantage because of their foreign locations in filing a CoC and other COMELEC documents. A liberal interpretation of the COMELEC rules and regulations will, therefore, promote more participation by the OFWs in the exercise of Philippine suffrage.


·        The petitioner represents more-than fifteen (15%) percent of the population of the Province of Sorsogon, especially the Overseas Sorsoganons, who no longer live within its territorial boundaries but who have maintained their legal residence in their home province. It is only just and equitable, therefore, to permit a Sorsoganon OAV to present himself to the voters of Sorsogon Province and provide them a choice in leadership and platforms. And


·        The undersigned petitioner is a serious candidate for governor as he hails from a family that has produced already in Sorsogon Province two governors (Juan S. Reyes and Teodosio Diño), a congressman (Juan S. Reyes), a constitutional delegate (Jose S. Reyes) and a municipal mayor (Jaime S. Reyes), aside from the fact that his father, Dominador S. Reyes, ran for governor of Sorsogon twice in the 1950s. The petitioner is also the brother of a former Sorsogon City councilor, Sylvia Reyes-Lao, and Carlos M. Reyes, a current candidate for the Provincial Board (Sanguniang Panlalawigan). ( # # #


© opyright 2009 The Journal Group Link International. The contents provided in the JGLi may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of the Journal Group Link International.


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Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 December 2009 23:11
Comments (2)
1 Wednesday, 23 December 2009 20:53
Dear Bobby,

I read the article of Joseph Lariosa, and, I hope that the COMELEC will respond to your letter for reconsideration.

I think a visit from your lawyer will help. You may also argue that the Memo of October 2009 will not apply in your case, because, you work in the US, and, even the local candidates may not be aware of the existence of such memo.

This is a very interesting development, and I hope that something positive may come out of it.


Apo Ernie Gange
Philadelphia, PA
2 Saturday, 26 December 2009 11:42
Hello Bobby,

You have made a case study for the Philippine politics. I don't know of any stare decisis (meaning previous court decision) related to your plight. So, what's the next step? Good luck.

Dick Digal

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