(File photo)

The provincial office of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) clarified Wednesday that Gerandy Danao remains to be an independent mayoral candidate in Narra as he was able to comply with the necessary documents.

The clarification was made by COMELEC provincial office spokesperson Jomel Ordas following controversies in Danao’s candidacy in Narra against incumbent mayor Lucena Demaala.

Danao’s mayoral bid was put under question after the certificate of candidacy (COC) form he used was discovered to be not the prescribed document in accordance with Section 16 and 26 of COMELEC Resolution No. 10420 as amended by Resolution No. 10430.

In the copy of the minutes of the regular COMELEC en banc meeting on March 6, it said 53 candidates did not comply with the rules set by the electoral tribunal.

This means their COCs were deemed not filed, including Danao’s.

But Ordas explained that Danao’s COC was included in the 18 candidates who have attached Item No. 22 at the back of their forms.

The item is about the question that asks candidates if they have ever been found liable for an offense that carries with it the accessory penalty of perpetual disqualification among others.

“Kapag hindi prescribed form ang ginamit ay deemed not filed po ‘yan, parang hindi ka nag-file ng COC mo. Sa lahat ng gumamit ng old form ay nakita ng COMELEC na  ‘yong 18 ay nag-print din sila sa likod ng kanilang COC ng Item No. 22 na dinagdag ng COMELEC sa amendment na Resolution 10430. Considered as filed po sila,” Ordas said.

He said the prescribed form was posted by the COMELEC online prior to the filing of COC and it is the responsibility of the candidates to follow the guidelines.

Ordas said that the use of the prescribed form is in accordance with the COMELEC Resoluton No. 420.

“Ang 18 na ‘yan dahil nagdagdag sila ng Item No. 22 sa likod ng kanilang old form ay considered filed sila, kasama po diyan si Mr. Danao ng Narra. Valid po ang kanyang COC, deemed filed po sya,” Ordas pointed out.

The order by COMELEC Chairman Sheriff Abas and all six commissioners, states that of the 25 who were disqualified 18 accomplished the required table of case details at the portal portion, including Danao.

The COCs of the other candidates “were deemed not filed for not conforming to resolutions stated and should not be voted during the elections,” according to the COMELEC.

Recently, Danao also said that he was not disqualified by the COMELEC for using the old form because he already attached the necessary documents.

“Ang alam ko ngayon wala na akong problema d’yan, naayos na po ‘yan at alam ko cleared na ako. Maraming kinaso sa akin. Kasama ang nuisance candidate, pusher, illegal logger pati ‘yang old form sa COMELEC,” he said.

Danao is the only opponent of Demaala.

He blamed Demaala for spreading false information against him.

“Siya lang naman ang may gawa n’yan. Kung ano-ano ang pinapakalat nya hindi naman totoo. Basta ang alam ko maayos ang mga ginagawa ko, wala na akong problema sa comelec,” he added.

Demaala, on the other hand, insisted that the disqualification report about Danao is true.

“Disqualified naman talaga siya. Hindi gawa-gawa lahat ng sinasabi ko tungkol sa kanya kasi totoo naman. Nakalagay sa decision ng COMELEC na disqualified siya,” the mayor said.

COMELEC said that the Candidates Profile System (CPS) had already been finalized relative to the configuration of the Automated Election System (AES) in relation to the preparation and printing of the official ballots.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.