MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Elections (Comelec) yesterday released en banc Resolution 9696 ordering a randomized naming system to be assigned to Senatoriables qualified to run in next year’s national elections.
In an en banc resolution authored by Commissioner Romnick Sarmiento, the Comelec voted 5-2 to grant the petition filed by concerned citizens Keith Pagulayan, Patty De Punzalan, Rowena Luntian, Ramon Matikas Adlao and Jimboy Maharlika as represented by election lawyer Estrella Magdalena.
After last week’s filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) for senator ended, the petitioners noticed how some of the names of the candidates were either very familiar, are just some old politicians making a comeback or relatives of incumbent government officials try to leverage the surnames of their relatives.
Ramon Adlao, one of the petitioners explains that, “the national election next year would have a level playing field if candidates would not rely on name recall. Oftentimes these politicians resort to popularity boosting antics, be it infomercials & tarps bearing their names.”
He added, ” Come election time, voters when faced with a ballot, have no choice but to vote for the names that are familiar to them, instead of making an educated vote based on a candidates platform or plan.”
“That is why we have asked Comelec to look into the possibility of assigning a random name for each qualified candidate, different from that of their actual given name,” said Rowena Luntian.
Based on the en banc resolution, the Comelec, upon the release of the final list of official candidates this December, will officially assign a random ‘campaign name’ to each qualified candidate. The assigned campaign name will be determined via an anagram of their given name.
Comelec spokesman Jaime Jimenez gave an example, whereby if Cynthia Villar was indeed qualified and included on the final list, her name on the ballot as well as her name to be used during the entire campaign duration would be VALIANTLY RICH. As for Maria Ana Consuelo “Jamby” Madrigal, her assigned name would be RANDOMLY ACE AMUSING LABIA MAJORA.
We asked Jimenez to provide us a sample list of anagrams for the candidates that Filipinos are more familiar with, to see if their names would still carry that “magic touch”. Below is the list:
- Juan Miguel Zubiri (PMP/UNA) – Injure Zug Bulimia
- Sen. Koko Pimentel III (PDP-Laban, re-electionist) – Poetlike Monk
- Sen. Gregorio ‘Gringo’ Honasan (UNA, re-electionist) – A Gonorrhoea Gorging Sin
- Ernesto Maceda (PMP/UNA) – Coarsened Mate
- Rep. Joseph Victor ‘JV’ Ejercito (PMP/UNA) – Crevice Jotter Josh Poi
- Grace Poe-Llamenzares (independent) – Gleam Clean Raze Poser
- Puerto Princesa Mayor Edward Hagedorn (independent) – Grand Dead Whore
- Ramon Magsaysay Jr. (Liberal Party) – Marjoram Gays Nays
- Sen. Loren Legarda (NPC, re-electionist) – Order Anal Gel
- Rep. Maria Milgaros Magsaysay (UNA) – I Am A Smarmy, Gaga As Rosily
- Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero (independent, re-electionist) – Craziness of Rude Chic
- Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (LDP) – Joy, Nausea And Grand Groan
- Alan Peter Cayetano (Nacionalista Party-Liberal Party, re-electionist) – A Planetary Acetone
- Paolo Benigno Aquino IV (Liberal Party) – I Am A Loving Pique On Baboon
- Oliver Lozano (KBL) – Overall In Zoo
- Victor Wood (independent) – I Vow Doctor
According to the implementing rules & regulations (IRR) of Resolution 9696, “Candidates shall use their assigned names as if they were born with it. The names shall be applied to television advertisements, print ads, giveaway items such as, but not limited to, hats, fans, baller bands, calendars, t-shirts, briefs and etc. The official campaign names shall also be used when a candidate is being introduced or announced on-stage during campaign rallies.”
“We would be strict in implementing this rule, and anyone caught in violation of the IRR would be subject to disqualification immediately,” reiterates Comelec Chairman Chito Brillantes.
“If you can’t be honest during the campaign period, how do you expect Filipinos to trust you when you’re elected?”
The official campaign period for senatoriables will begin on February 2013.