Saturday, December 5, 2015

Proving Bona Fide Intent to Run

COMELEC cancels certificates of candidacies of some who fails to present proof of bona fide intent to run. In my opinion, the filing of Certificate of Candidacy (COC) is the primary proof that a person has explicit intention to run because it is a public document as it is sworn in before a notary public.

The best secondary proofs of bona fide intention to run are his preparations for the campaign, such as (1) formulation of platform and agenda, (2) development of information, education, and communication materials, (3) organizing of supporters' and movements, (4) nominating a bank account that is ready to receive financial donations, and (5) development of campaign plan and strategy.

Never should political party affiliation, even a party nomination, can be used as proof of bona fide intention because there are candidates who choose to be independent, and some candidates who are nominated are mere dummy substitutes.

Never should availability of spendable wealth be used as proof of bona fide intention to run because there is always a facility for campaign contributions for supporters.

It is the absence of fund, whether at the start of the campaign or in the middle, that decreases a candidate's capability to campaign nationwide; but it cannot be used as factor to determine lack of bona fide intention to run.

A candidate's health and old-age may restrain a candidate's capability to attend to rigorous campaign, but it cannot be used as factor to determine lack of bona fide intention to run.


The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) is supposed to be apolitical. Declaring a qualified candidate as nuisant based on subjective popularity perception, unofficial wild guess that the candidate is not winnable, and generalizing a specific profession is an act of prejudice, infringement of rights to run for public post, and political harassment by the COMELEC. Such act is abuse of power because they are virtually puting their personal guess, preference, and opinion above the constitutional rights and above the general electorates' right to choose. Remember, genuine sincerity of intent to run is proven by the candidate's campaign preparation and public pronouncements, not by a mere common wild guess opinion of a third party on the candidates popularity, winnability, and financial speculation.

I debunk COMELEC's opinion that says independency decreases a candidate's capability for such a rigorous and expensive campaign. Such COMELEC opinion is absolutely malicious, a clear act of political intervention that brainwashes the mind of the electorates. It is also an act that somewhat favors the candidates with political parties and discriminates the independent ones.

I believe that political parties neither have monopoly, nor comparative advantage in accessing campaign contributors compared to independent candidates.

Campaign contribution is a political investment. People contribute campaign funds to candidates who have similar advocacy with them. Example, people who are scared if BBL will be passed will put their political investment on candidates who are anti-BBL; so we expect that people who are anti-BBL will not support political parties who are pro-BBL like Liberal Party and its allies such as PDP-Laban. Another example is Malaysia's huge political investment to political parties in exchange of silence on the Sabah issue.

I have 21 Legislative Agenda in the John Petalcorin for Senator campaign. The potential happiness people will get from my legislative agenda translates into 21 reasons why people should invest campaign funds in my national candidacy. I never has problem in formulating my basket of agenda because the interest I have in mind is only my people, my country, and humanity as a whole.

One of the major reason why I hesitate to join coalitions is that a multiple-party scenario is almost always problematic in terms of platform harmonization, they cannot fully agree to a common agenda because they have their own opinion on various issues and each one have their own business interests. This absense of uniformity of agenda in coalitions is also a reason why campaign funders hesitate, for example, an anti-BBL funder may like to put in money into the coalition to support a Presidential Candidate who is anti-BBL, but the same funder may hesitate because that particular Presidential Candidate has some well-known pro-BBL candidates under his or her Senatorial tickets.

Choice of companion and technique determines the level of campaign expenses. Candidates who want to arrive with style and grandeur in the sortie venue by helicopter and bodyguards will spend a much higher campaign fund to compared to the candidate who will only commute alone. The candidate in helicopter may attract the crowd, but voters normally prefer to vote for the candidates with simple lifestyle.

The current development in wireless communication and internet has sharply decreased the financial expenses of wide-scale campaign of candidates who know how to use it. When it comes to field sorties, the political parties and coalitions have huge entourage, more people to coordinate, hence more difficulty in events coordination, bigger logistical problem, and larger financial requirement compared to candidates who prefer to be independents, not to mention they are prone to internal conflict.

The independents, undeniably, have flexibility advantage and least financial requirement because they will usually mobilize a nationwide campaign like a small unit.


Residence address in not enough information needed for COMELEC to contact the candidate. The COC Form should have a space where candidates write their contact information such as telephone numbers, email address, and official Facebook account. It should also have a space for names and contact numbers of three references needed to background investigate the education, work, organization, and next-of-kin of the candidate. Much better if COMELEC will just require the candidate to complete and attach a standard government Personnel Date Sheet Form in his/her COC.