Drum rolls, fiery exchanges

Bandera (Visayas) - - Front Page -

THE second day of filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) was marked with more fanfare.

Not only did senatorial aspirants and partylist candidates submitted their COCs to the Commission on Elections (Comelec) main office on Friday, but they also brought a mood resembling Philippine festivities.

After a quiet filing of COC by Senator

Nancy Binay around 9 a.m., the fanfare began when former police chief Ronald dela Rosa formalized his senatorial bid under the ruling party, PDP-Laban.

As dela Rosa was welcomed by his supporters, people from Gabriela Women’s Partylist accompanied by a marching band headed toward Comelec, presenting their own set of candidates.

And as part of most festivities, "fights" do always seem to erupt.

It appeared that members of Gabriela shouted at Dela Rosa while he was doing an interview, calling him a “berdugo” (executioner) in reference to his role in the government’s anti-drug war dubbed as Oplan Tokhang.

In return, his supporters cheered him on by shouting his and President Duterte’s name.

When it appeared that the noise had settled down, another colorful figure in Atty. Larry Gadon also went to the Comelec before 2 p.m., filing his COC as an official Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL) and Lakas-CMD candidate.

Gadon, who partly became famous for memes and video clips where he validates people by telling them that they are “bobo” (stupid), went with a couple of his supporters.

As Gadon was busy fixing problems with regards to his COC, a contingent from

left-leaning ACT Teachers Partylist and Kabataan Partylist held separate rallies outside the Comelec premises.

While Kabataan was conducting their program, several pro-Duterte supporters as well as from the camp of Gadon tried to interrupt the program, with one even shouting Duterte’s name in the face of the group’s leaders.

Pro-Duterte rallyists were claiming that students should be grateful to the government for letting them study for free in state universities.

Despite the festive and somewhat chaotic atmosphere, the Comelec said the second day of COC filing is

actually slow. Only three notable senatorial candidates in Binay, Dela Rosa, and Gadon (in order of arrival) submitted their forms.

Only four known partylists in Gabriela, ACT Teachers, Angkla, and Kabataan showed up. All in all, 10 vied to become the next senator of the country, while 12 partylist groups filed their candidates’ COCs.

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