130 Filipino candidates to run for president

Record-high number of 130 Filipinos register as candidates to run for president in next year’s presidential election

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Philippine President Benigno Aquino (front R) and ruling party candidates Mar Roxas (front L) and his running mate Leni Robredo (front C) flash the party's sign along with supporters prior to filing their Certificates of Candidacy (CoC) for president.

A record 130 Filipinos registered as candidates to succeed Benigno Aquino as Philippine president in next year's general election by Friday's deadline, the elections agency said.

A man who registered his name as Lucifer, a woman who heard voices from heaven and commanded her to run for public office and another who claimed to be an extraterrestrial ambassador are among the hopefuls.

"This is a symbol or a representative of a vibrant democracy, where more people feel empowered to cast their vote, and to put themselves forward as candidates," said James Jimenez, spokesman for the Commission on Elections.

"We are giving people the opportunity to file their candidacies, but we reserve the right to really cut (the number) down to those with a reasonable expectation of victory."

In the 2010 presidential election, 99 people registered to run for president but only 10 people were allowed to compete. Aquino, only son of democracy icons Benigno Senior and Corazon, won with 42 percent of the votes.

Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago, who ran twice and lost in 1992 and 1998, was among the last to register.