Senate bet: We may be poor but we’re no clowns

MANILA, Philippines—More colorful wannabes who also hope to get a seat in the Senate next year on Friday joined other senatorial contenders in beating the deadline for the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) with the Commission on Elections (Comelec).
One was a widowed preacher who vowed to champion widows and single moms. Another was an insurance employee who planned to “melt” all weapons of destruction and convert them into something that would produce food while another would push for the construction of what he called “Edsalex.”
But they insisted they were neither clowns nor crackpots. They said they were merely ordinary citizens exercising their constitutional right to run for a government post.
“Just because we are poor we are already considered nuisance or clowns. It’s the so-called serious candidates who sing and dance to win votes. Doesn’t that make them more of a clown than us?” said 67-year-old Rafael Cabrera of Lemery, Batangas.
It’s his right
Cabrera, a former worker for a laundry soap manufacturer, said he was running for the Senate because it was his right to do so.
After the five-day registration period ended on Friday, the Comelec said a total of 84 senatorial contenders had filed their COCs. On the last day of the filing, 35 bets formalized their candidacies. Of this number, four candidates were from the Liberal Party and one from the United Nationalist Alliance.
Clad in a printed red dress and wearing medallions bearing the image of saints, Norma Nueva claimed she was nominated by the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, an umbrella coalition of parties who supported the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
A preacher who ran a program in the Church-run Radio Veritas for four years, Nueva said she had the capacity to launch a nationwide campaign because she was used to going around the Philippines to conduct evangelization and values formation in military and police camps and in depressed areas, among others.
Meanwhile, farmer Manuel Espinosa said he would push for the construction of “Edsalex,” the Edsa version of the Southern Luzon Expressway and the Northern Luzon Expressway, to ease traffic emanating from the two expressways.
“I will also push for the nationwide showing of film entries in the Metro Manila Film Festival next year,” said Espinosa.
The 42-year-old senatorial aspirant even brought colorful posters to show his projects if elected in the 2013 balloting.
Former jukebox king Victor Wood, who rose to fame in the 1970s, was among the buzzer-beaters, saying his entry into the senatorial race was a sign of his restored confidence in the Comelec.
Wood, who was wearing a hat and a red-black long-sleeved polo when he filed his COC, claimed he was cheated in the 2007 elections. “My votes were not counted,” he said.
FPJ too?
Another senatorial aspirant identified as Fernando Po again closed the five-day registration period, filing his COC when the clock struck at 5 p.m. on Friday.
According to the Comelec staff overseeing the registration, Po—who bears no resemblance to the late movie actor, Fernando Poe Jr.—was also the last person to file his COC for the 2010 elections at midnight on the last day of the filing.
The Democratic Party of the Philippines also fielded senatorial bets for next year’s elections, among them was Christian Señeres, a former representative of the Buhay party-list. Señeres filed his COC on Friday.

Senate bet: We may be poor but we’re no clowns

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