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Nicanor Perlas to File Appeal Against COMELEC Disqualification

Written By David D'Angelo on Saturday, December 19, 2009 | 12/19/2009

Nicanor Perlas is perhaps one of the best qualified and principled candidates in the upcoming 2010 Philippine elections but he was disqualified by the Commission on Elections (COMELEC). The commission sighted in its en banc decision that Perlas cannot run a nationwide campaign, has no party and funds to really be considered.

On Monday. December 21, 2009 9:00am Nicanor Perlas will file his appeal at the COMELEC Office at Palacio del Gobernador, Intarmuros, Manila together with supporters and friends. There is also an ONLINE PETITION SUPPORTING NICANOR PERLAS.

In a media conference in front of the Commission on Elections (Comelec), presidential candidate Nicanor Perlas characterized Comelec's decision to disqualify him as an injustice to the electorate, a suppression of new politics, and an obvious bias for rich politicians over more qualified middle class leaders. He also announced that he and his legal team will challenge Comelec's decision as arbitrary, capricious, and legally flawed.

"What kind of message is Comelec sending to the Filipino people? Has it come to this, that money and the political organization that it can buy, have become more important than vision, platform, track record, character, outstanding qualifications, and a real passion to birth a new nation?", asked Perlas. "Are we saying that only the rich can be president of this country?"

Nicanor Perlas is a multi-awarded Filipino leader and has a combination of global and national awards unique among presidentiables. He is one of only three Filipinos who has received the prestigious Alternative Nobel Prize in the past 29 years. Only last August 2009, Perlas also received the Manuel L. Quezon Award for Exemplary Governance. Earlier Perlas received The Outstanding Filipino Award and the Global 500 Award of the UN Environmental Program.

These awards noted the positive impact that Perlas has had in the areas of environment, sustainable agriculture, renewal energy, holistic education, sustainable development, equitable economic globalization, among others. These initiatives of Perlas have benefited millions of Filipinos.

Perlas hoped that the Comelec had shed off its past tarnished reputation to become the guardian of genuine and equitable electoral innovation and freedom. Instead Perlas decried that, with its decision, Comelec has become the nation's prime promoter of traditional politics, equating winnability with money and political machinery.

Since when did Comelec have the mandate to decide for the Filipino people that money is more important than values and principles?", Perlas continued. Perlas emphasized that there are alternative ways to win national elections without an over reliance on money and traditional political machinery.

"We have close to 700 regional, provincial, and municipal coordinators in many regions of the Philippines. Behind them stand hundreds of thousands of supporters and volunteers. These supporters and volunteers contribute valuable amounts of time, resources, and organization, more than sufficient to overcome traditional political reliance on money and machinery", Perlas explained. "And, on top of this, we have tens of thousands of spontaneous supporters coming in as a result of exposure in national media interviews and events".

Comelec included Perlas in its list of nuisance candidates. The Comelec defines "nuisance candidates" as follows: "The Commission may . . . refuses (sic!) to give due course to or cancel a certificate of candidacy if it shown (sic!) that said certificate has been filed 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."

"It is clear that NONE of these aspects of being a nuisance candidate applies to me", Perlas observed.

"Something deeper is at work. Is the Comelec scared that the Perlas candidacy, backed with strong vision, track record, competence, and support will become a nuisance to the traditional political system that is destroying this country?" Is the Comelec scared that the Perlas candidacy will finally usher in the age of new politics in the country and begin the massive transformation of all institutions of government, including the Comelec itself?"

Meanwhile on Facebook and Twitter, both supporters and non-supporters are either surprised or disgusted of what had happened. Most of them can't believe that a globally awarded candidate can be tagged as a nuisance candidate.

Rainidah Mangotara Ismael has this to say, "As a political science student, I know how to criticize the candidates/politicians. It's best to envisage their character, world view, and a style and see how he constructed them in the first place. I chose Perlas on the midst of a cloud of confusion. It is just so sad that COMELEC was just stupid enough not to see this and even preferred Erap who has this character of passive-negative who can not perform leadership roles."

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