Filipinos have a penchant for making anything festive. Something weighty—and an otherwise serious process—such as an election is not spared. Arguably the most awaited event during the election process is the period for filing of COCs (Certificates of Candidacy.) Aside from serious contenders, this is when the more colorful aspirants come out of the woodwork.
Because the constitution sets out fairly simple requirements of eligibility to run for the highest offices in the land (1. At least 40 years old and above; 2. A registered voter; 3. Able to read and write; 4. A Filipino citizen by birth; 5. A resident of the country for at least 10 years preceding election), it opens up the process to so-called “nuisance candidates.”
A nuisance candidate, as defined by the Omnibus Election Code, is someone who files a COC “to put the election process in mockery or disrepute or to cause confusion among the voters by the similarity of the names of the registered candidates or by other circumstances or acts which clearly demonstrate that the candidate has no bona fide intention to run for the office for which the certificate of candidacy has been filed, and thus prevent a faithful determination of the true will of the electorate.”
A number of nuisance candidates are veterans. Those who have filed COCs in previous elections, only to be disqualified, seem to come back every election period time and time again. One of them is lawyer Elly Pamatong, who tried to enter the presidential race twice before in 2004 and in 2010. Also in 2004, he gained notoriety for scattering metal spikes along Roxas Boulevard.