Of the long list of those who filed for presidential candidacy in the upcoming 2022 General Elections, the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) has thinned the herd down to a total of 15 names for their initial list.
Released on Christmas Eve, the polling body reduced a total of 97 names down to the 15 listed, though these names are still subject to further assessment and potential purging, according to COMELEC Commissioner Rowena Guanzon.
The same goes for all other public office posts, whether national or local, up for grabs in next year’s polls.
Among the 15 initially qualified bids, Vice President Leni Robredo and son of the late dictator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., are the presidential race’s frontrunners.
Other popular names that made the cut include labor leader Leody de Guzman, Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Senator Panfilo Lacson, and Senator Manny Pacquiao.
Also taking a shot at the nation’s top post are Maria Aurora Marcos, former National Security Adviser Norberto Gonzales, Edgar Niez, Danilo Lihaylihay, Faisal Mangondato, Hilario Andes, Gerald Arcega, Jose Montemayor Jr., and former Palace spokesperson Ernesto Abella.
Meanwhile, one of seven cases filed against Marcos Jr.’s presidential bid has been scrapped by COMELEC.
In an attempt to label the late dictator’s son a nuisance candidate, presidential candidate Lihaylihay’s petition was dismissed due to failure to prove that Marcos Jr. fell under the established criteria.
However, a total of six complaints remain against Marcos Jr., of which four are disqualification cases and the remaining two are petitions to cancel his Certificate of Candidacy (COC).