In defense of the nuisance candidate
By Al S. Mendoza
OK, what is a nuisance candidate?
He basically doesn’t have the money, if not a sane mind, to run for an elective position.
That’s what the Comelec (Commission on Elections) says.
While the Constitution allows anyone who can read and write to run for a public office, it also says sanity is a primary requirement.
So, can a mental hospital graduate run in the May 2019 elections?
Yes he can on the say-so of Comelec.
But what about if a candidate says he is Jesus Christ?
But will a sane man joke about God?
Another says he was the former husband of Kris Aquino.
He doesn’t appear like he’s joking.
And another one claims he was the former boyfriend of Mocha Uson, currently Dagupan City’s most famous daughter.
Are they allowed to file a certificate of candidacy?
“Yes,” the Comelec said. “Everybody is allowed to file a COC (Certificate of Candidacy).”
The logic to that is: “Every aspirant is sane until proven otherwise.”
In short, a nuisance candidate can only be declared such after he has filed his COC. Not before.
The Constitution also does not prohibit a non-elementary graduate from running.
Manny Pacquiao did not technically finish Grade 6 and he is now a senator after first becoming a representative of Sarangani.
Of course, his boxing’s billions helped catapult him to the Senate.
We will elect only 12 senators in May but there are nearly 200, if not more than 200, aspirants.
They are being screened now by the Comelec, which will soon radically slash the number after kicking out the nuisance candidates.
But then again, doesn’t the Constitution guarantee the freedom of choice and movement?
The truth is, the act of declaring an aspirant as a nuisance candidate is undemocratic, anti-democracy and even anti-poor.
The poor are nuisance candidates simply because they do not have the money to finance a costly campaign.
Only the rich, the moneyed class, have the budget for campaign sorties—OK, include a war chest to buy votes, too.
The poor can never buy votes as they could hardly afford a tarpaulin for a campaign material.
But then, why not let them be?
Isn’t it an inherent right of the Filipino to run for public office, money or no money?
Is running without money to support your political platform a ground to crush democratic rights?
Lovers are called fools, mostly.
So do many candidates, who aren’t really called fools but nuisance candidates.
Democracy also curtails freedoms.
Juan dela Cruz, the farmer from Brgy. Bantocaling in Mangatarem, Pangasinan, cannot run for senator. Again.
Like in the 2016 polls and the other elections before that, he was declared a nuisance candidate.
The poor, not just the fools, lose a basic democratic right come election.
Give their right back. Vote Juan.
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