The COMELEC Says Francis Leo Marcos Is Not a Nuisance Candidate

"The respondent is very popular especially on social media."

The Commission on Elections has denied a petition to declare Francis Leo Marcos as a nuisance candidate. 

Marcos, considered an "influencer," made headlines in October when he filed his candidacy for senator. Many accused him of being a nuisance candidate because he bears the same surname as presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos. 

The Comelec's Second Division rejected the petition led by the Commission's Law Department to disqualify Francis Leo Marcos. The Law Department asserted he put the election process in mockery or disrepute because "he has no bona fide intention to run for Senator."

Further, the Commission's Law Department asserted Marcos was not virtually known to the entire country and has no means to launch a nationwide campaign.

Comelec: 'He is Very Popular on Social Media.'

"It is quite clear that the Responded (Francis Leo Marcos) is very popular especially on social media. This is contrary to the assertion by the Petitioner that the Respondent is virtually unknown to the country," the Comelec wrote in its decision. 

The Second Division also ascertained that Marcos has the means to run a nationwide campaign. 

"The Respondent was able to establish that he has a significant modicum of support, which is enough basis to have his name printed on the ballot."

Comelec is Convinced Francis Leo Marcos Can Run a Nationwide Campaign

Wrapping up its resolution, the Second Division emphasized it was confident that Francis Leo Marcos can run a nationwide campaign for a senatorial bid. 

"Verily, the Commission (Second Division) is convinced that the Respondent (Francis Leo Marcos) has the capability to sustain a national campaign in light of his popularity and network of supporters." The Comelec also cited the Filipino Family Club, Inc. (FFCI) as a supporter of the senatorial candidate. 


Below is a page of the resolution penned by Presiding Commissioner Socorro Inting and Commissioner Antonio Kho. 

Comelec's Rule on Verified Accounts

Despite the comment by the Second Division that Marcos is very popular on social media, the candidate's Facebook page remains to be verified as of this writing. 

The page has 40,000 likes and 61,000 followers. 

In early December, the Comelec faced criticisms for its rule requiring the verification of an account before it can be allowed to put up political advertisements on social media.

In an interview with the Inquirer, Comelec Spokesperson James Jimenez defended the new rule. 

“We want to make sure that there’s accountability for these ads. We want to make sure that there’s accountability for the information that’s being pushed out and we want to make sure that people have a credible source that they can trust so that people will be able to differentiate between fake news and real news because of where it’s coming from,” he said.

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